Expansions (180gm Analogue Blue Note Tone Poet)
Format: LP, Vinyl
‘Expansions’ was recorded on 23rd August 1968. It features Freddie Waits on drums, Herbie Lewis on bass and Ron Carter on cello. The horn section comprises Woody Shaw on trumpet, Gary Bartz on alto saxophone and wooden flute and Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone on clarinet. There are four Tyner compositions and one by Cal Massey. ‘Vision’ is a twelve-minute Spiritual Jazz opus that alternates between modal Jazz and the avant-garde. The soloists excel improvising over its deep running groove. The equally lengthy ‘Song Of Happiness’ begins in a subdued and understated mode. Bartz’s flute adds a mystical element and helps the intense track to build gradually. Tyner and then Shorter make their own statement on this complex tune that suggests serenity rather happiness. Side two starts with ‘Smitty’s Place’, which is a frenetic journey into the avant-garde, which has occasional moment of brilliant coherence. The tranquil ‘Peresina’ flows effortlessly. The ensemble horns and solos like Shorter’s reinforce the peaceful ambience; Tyner too plays with ease and revisits the sheets of sound that he perfected when with Coltrane. The Cal Massey tune ‘I Thought I’d Let You Know’ is a quiet refrain and ends the album on a placid note, though the prettiness of the rendition is self-evident.