McCoy Tyner's considerable influence began during his long run as John Coltrane's pianist in the 1960s and grew steadily after he left Coltrane in 1965 to establish his own career. By 1974 and Sama Layuca, he was a major presence in jazz. All of his facets are on full display in this rich album-his incomparable pianism, the use of modes and scales as bases for composition and improvisation, deeply layered harmonies, Latin, Asian, and African rhythmic elements. Capable of thoughtful lyricism ("Desert Cry") but inclined toward passion and drama ("La Cuba–a," "Paradox"), Tyner employs his huge technique and imagination to create landscapes rampant with vivid colors, roaring rivers, smoldering volcanoes, and joyous life. His fellow musicians on Sama Layuca include some of the brightest lights of late twentieth-century jazz.
with Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Bartz, Azar Lawrence, John Stubblefield, Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Mtume, Guilherme Franco