TVD Radar: McCoy Tyner: The Montreux Years & Modern Jazz Quartet: The Montreux Years 2LP sets in stores 6/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | BMG and the Montreux Jazz Festival today announce the forthcoming releases of McCoy Tyner: The Montreux Years and Modern Jazz Quartet: The Montreux Years on Friday 23 June 2023. The live albums, which will be available in multiple-format configurations, including LP and CD, are restored to their full glory and with exclusive liner notes. The releases feature sublime collections of the musical legend’s finest Montreux Jazz Festival performances, which will also be available on digital download and streaming services.

A force of nature in the maelstroms of jazz improvisation, McCoy Tyner’s musical style and methods have influenced every generation of jazz pianists since the 1960s and stood shoulder to shoulder with such illustrious keyboard modernists as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Bill Evans. A ground-breaking pioneer of the jazz piano, McCoy’s performance at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival set the febrile 1970s jazz scene on fire and inspired the release of the live album Enlightenment. The first release from McCoy Tyner in over 10 years, McCoy Tyner: The Montreux Years encapsulates the jazz legend’s time at the festival from 1981 to 2009. The release opens with the mesmerising “Latino Suite,” which was recorded live at the 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Delving further into McCoy’s repertoire of music, fans of the American jazz pianist can immerse themselves in his unique recordings such as 1981’s “Eternally Yours” and “Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit” from the 1973 live album Enlightenment. Taken from McCoy’s ninth album and his third release on the Blue Note label, fans can enjoy the powerhouse performance of “African Village” and “Fly with the Wind” from the 1976 album of the same name.

The origins of the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) will be well known to hardcore fans, but more casual listeners might not be aware that they originally began life as the rhythm section of the seminal Dizzy Gillespie bebop big band, itself a deeply influential and historically significant band, in the late 1940s.

During their 43 years together MJQ grew from being at their outset a typical bebop quartet of the era, playing standards and bebop tunes to playing a completely original fusion of classical compositional techniques with bebop and the blues. The compositions and arrangements became as important as the improvisation.

A brief glance at their rather extensive discography reveals a band continually experimenting with new formats almost from the beginning but also regularly returning to the original quartet format, showcasing the incredible chemistry between the four members that can only come from decades of performing and rehearsing together. A key part of that chemistry came from the unique combination of musical personalities within the quartet. Alongside their involvement in the quartet, the band members had an impressive track record of working alongside the most prominent jazz artists of all time, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, and Chet Baker.

Reliving their performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival from 1985–1993, Modern Jazz Quartet: The Montreux Years brings together an impressive collection of MJQ’s classics, from 1957’s “Bags’ Groove” to 1987’s “A Day in Dubrovnik,” and taken from their last appearance at Montreux in 1993 “The Golden Striker.”

Launched in 2021, The Montreux Years is the embodiment of the spirit of the Montreux Jazz Festival and the legacy of its much-loved founder, Claude Nobs. Nobs refused to compromise on quality or settle for anything other than the best and this ethos lives on in the superb quality of the recordings compiled in The Montreux Years. Mastering has been performed by Tony Cousins at London’s iconic Metropolis Studios.

Available on pre-order now and released on Friday 23 June, McCoy Tyner: The Montreux Years and Modern Jazz Quartet: The Montreux Years is the latest instalment of The Montreux Years series, which began with musical titans Nina Simone and Etta James, followed by Marianne Faithfull and Muddy Waters, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Monty Alexander, Paco De Lucía, Michel Petrucciani, and most recently Dr. John. Having received critical acclaim worldwide, Nina Simone: The Montreux Years and John McLaughlin: The Montreux Years, reached #1 on the UK Official Jazz & Blues Chart in 2021 and were hailed by the likes of the New York Times and JazzFM.

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