USA, 1972, post-bop

McCoy TynerSahara: It’s kind of weird to hear the koto so prominently on an album about ebony women and the Sahara. I guess he was going for an ethnic feel? The koto is an ancient instrument to be sure, but it’s not as old as the “Valley of Life”, and we’re pretty sure human life began in Africa, not Japan. Whatever, moving on. I dig the passionate piano playing on this album, and straying into avant-garde territory, accompanied by the sax, on “Rebirth”. I’d imagine a genesis of life would be quite chaotic and spectacular. Side B only the title track, an epic piece that starts with the natural and ancient sounds of the desert (sands, insects, drums, etc) reproduced on instruments before the wild piano breaks in, and the saxophone blows like high winds over the dunes.

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