McCoy Tyner: Expansions

A pair of recent Mosaic Select limited-edition three-CD box sets focuses on music that was generally overlooked at the time it was recorded. McCoy Tyner (Select 25) features the great pianist’s Blue Note recordings of 1968-70, music originally released as Expansions, Cosmos, Extensions and Asante. Tyner had left the John Coltrane Quartet in early 1966 and was rapidly becoming a major force, but these records did not sell well (only two of the four were released in a timely manner). Blue Note had turned away from noncommercial jazz, and Tyner spent part of this time driving a taxicab. His luck would change when he signed with Milestone in 1972, but these performances, featuring Tyner with his trio and with notables like Woody Shaw, Gary Bartz, Wayne Shorter and Andrew White, are consistently brilliant and forward thinking.

Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson (Select 26) was one of the few remaining Blue Note artists in the 1970s who was still recording stirring postbop music. His Select box reissues Cirrus, Inner Glow, Waiting, The View From the Inside and Knucklebean. While some of the electronics and arrangements sound dated, Hutcherson, who is heard in groups ranging from quintets to octets, is in prime form and assisted by the likes of Woody Shaw, Harold Land, Oscar Brashear, George Cables and Freddie Hubbard.