Success can be somewhat of a double-edged sword for artists, particularly when they peak to great heights somewhat early in terms of their chronological years. As such, few of the jazz artists who fall in this category have been able to reinvent themselves in the ways that both Miles Davis and Duke Ellington seemed to do over the course of their extended careers. Undeniably, McCoy Tyner will always have to compete somewhat with the stature of his early work with saxophone legend John Coltrane, not to mention the pianist’s own dramatic series of recordings cut for Blue Note Records in the late ‘60s.
Although Tyner’s recorded history of the past few decades has been checkered to say the least, Land of Giants
stands out as a major accomplishment with Bobby Hutcherson again proving the perfect foil, a fact made obvious when the two first hooked up for 1969’s Time For Tyner
. In both drummer Eric Harland and bassist Charnett Moffett we have two young, but seasoned pros that have no problem speaking the language of their elders. Over the course of ten tracks, mostly originals, the fire burns with a steady glow, Tyner never succumbs to histrionics, and everyone avoids the pitfalls that often come with these type of "all star" events. Even the vintage piece "Contemplation" sounds anew in the hands of these four giants.