McCoy Tyner’s "Sama Layuca," which was released to critical acclaim in 1974 and remastered for a more fruitful sound in 2001, is considered to be post bop. While it is that, I think jazz-fusion would be a more all-encompassing reference to use for this music. I heard some bop surely, although I think a progressive open-ended freeform style of fusion dominates.
In the 60’s Tyner made his name known by means of John Coltrane’s band. There is no question that his stay with Trane influenced him. By the time he set off on his own, he had firmly established himself as an innovator of jazz piano. Gary Bartz’s saxophone playing is sweetly reminiscent of the legendary Coltrane’s style throughout this original jazz classic.
Tyner was spiritually driven and inspired to create music that echoed the sentiments of his ancestors. His skillful playing recognized the worlds of Africa, Latin America, and Asia in a most respectful way. His artistry was a gallant effort to depict a cultural stew that simmered in his music. It all boils over with the exuberance of young child let loose to play in the schoolyard of life. His supporting cast obviously held the same values, as their musicianship is unmatched, following Tyner every step of the way throughout this album.
I was nicely surprised with the progressiveness and forward thinking of this album. For jazz recorded in 1974 it was far ahead of its time. Chick Corea’s Return To Forever came to mind more than once while I was absorbing this remarkable session. This is a necessary purchase for those of you that enjoy the more risqué side of jazz music.