Looking forward to McCoy Tyner's City Hall gig last week, I wondered what had happened to a forthcoming album he had spoken about in a recent interview with Downbeat. Apparently, it's set for release later this month, as both a CD and DVD, and teams the great jazz pianist with the peerless rhythm section of Jack DeJohnette on drums and Ron Carter on bass, plus a guest list of prominent guitarists - Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, John Scofielda and Derek Trucks - and banjoist Bela Fleck. It should be well worth seeing and hearing. On that list the relatively new kid on the block is Trucks, aged just 29 - Tyner is 69. He is essentially a blues guitarist, but a jazz literate one who has covered Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and John Coltrane tunes, and has also appeared with Wynton Marsalis, who seems lately to have entirely traded in his earnest purist credentials for an uncharacteristic but welcome inclusiveness of musical attitude. His recent collaboration with Willie Nelson bears witness to this. Trucks is known primarily as a slide guitarist, and has been extravagantly praised for his undoubted technical prowess in that field. Although I'm not sure that jazz and slide guitar are a particularly happy combination. Trucks came to Hong Kong in January last year as a member of Eric Clapton's band, performing the Duane Allman parts in a set dominated by songs from the Layla album, and his credentials for that job are impeccable. He is a member of the current Allman Brothers Band, and the nephew of founding drummer Butch Trucks. Duane Allman was clearly influenced by McCoy Tyner's former boss, Coltrane, in his approach to the long solos he played in the band, and Trucks would be the first to acknowledge that he stands on Allman's shoulders. However, while Allman kept things relatively simple, taking full advantage of the ease with which the bottleneck guitar can produce a perfect glissando, sustain, and emotive vibrato, Trucks has instead tended to play melodic lines of baroque complexity, and to explore microtones between frets. This is clearly deliberate - and influenced by Indian music as well as jazz - but can, and frequently does, simply sound like bad intonation. It will be intriguing to hear whether his idiosyncratic style works with Tyner, Carter and De Johnette, with whom Trucks apparently recorded Afro Blue. With Clapton he sounded over busy, and I felt much the same about the Derek Trucks Band's Songlines album. On the other hand Trucks may be a musician who is growing out of the need to use all his technique all of the time. His contributions to the new Buddy Guy album, Skin Deep, on Silvertone, suggest that. Previous Guy outings for the label have featured Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Mark Knopfler, Keith Richards, Tracy Chapman, and others, and the formula is repeated here. This time Guy gets to spar with Clapton again, plus steel guitarist Robert Randolph, and Trucks, along with his wife, blues singer Susan Tedeschi. The cameos are all pretty good, but Guy is never outclassed. He and Clapton now trade licks and vocals as equals, and after the latter's duet projects with B.B. King and J.J. Cale, surely something similar with Guy ought to be considered. Trucks contributes slide to two tracks - Too Many Tears (with Tedeschi) and Skin Deep. On both tracks he plays with better taste and more economy than much of his more virtuosic work has suggested he is capable of doing.