Weird arco-like sound on McCoy Tyner's _Atlantis_

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. The beastly Tyner album Atlantis has a couple of tracks, "Love Samba" most notably, that have a solo performed, presumably by the percussionist (whose name escapes me), on some sort of instrument that vaguely sounds like an upright played arco in the far upper register. I know it's not Joony Booth playing a bass solo, though, as he occasionally chimes in with a short phrase or figure played pizzicato while this arco-like sound is going on.

    What instrument is that? It's completely alien to my ears.
  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Without hearing it, and just working from the clue in the "Samba", I'd guess it's a cuica. It's a small open-bottom drum with a stick that goes up the middle of the drum and is attached to the drumhead at one end. When you rub on the stick in just the right way (I think they use a cloth), you get a sound that I guess could sound kinda arco-like. Now here's the cool part. The percussionist's other hand is used to apply varying degrees of pressure to the edge of the drumhead, and this changes the pitch of the basic sound. It's hard to get very precise, but you can definitely hear rising and falling pitches. Does that sound like what you heard?
  3. Yep, there's definitely pitch change in there. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what you're talking about.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Geez, Atlantis.
    That was given to me in '76 by my uncle; I still recall opening his C.A.R.E. package on my very first weekend in college. I was pumped up!
    Tyner's Fly With The Wind(Cobham, Ron Carter, Hubert Laws, etc) & a couple Pat Martino albums were also in that package.
    At that time-
    Jazz, was very new to was(& is) very mysterious to me.
    It's cool you like Atlantis & such, Pete! fact, I think I'll break that puppy out & spin it!
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    they use a wet (or moist) cloth.
  6. Atlantis is downright metal. McCoy was at Art Tatum levels of virtuosity in the '70s.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    Yeah...coming off that gig with 'Trane would do that. ;)
    Same thing happened to Miles-
    Have you heard his virtuosity on the 1960 Live In Stockholm with Coltrane? It's almost hard to believe that it's Miles! ;)