Mar 6, 2020
McCoy Tyner, the pianist who anchored the John Coltrane Quartet from 1960 to 1965, passed away at his home in Philadelphia last week. He was 81.
Tyner became one of the most important and influential piano players of the second half of the twentieth century, primarily due to his work with Coltrane. He played with great physicality, as well as a keen sense of harmony. Arguably, without Tyner’s left hand playing “block chords” and his timing keeping the band in hand, there would not have been the type of masterpieces that the Coltrane “Classic Quartet” produced.
Tyner was more than John Coltrane’s right hand man. Had he only been a session player for Blue Note Records – which he did on a regular basis while playing with Coltrane – he would still have a place in Jazz history. In 1964 alone, his appeared on seminal releases from Joe Henderson (In N’ Out, Inner Urge), Milt Jackson (Spanish Fly), Lee Morgan (Tom Cat!), Wayne Shorter (Night Dreamer, Juju), Stanley Turrentine (Mr. Natural), Freddie Hubbard (Blue Spirits). Grant Green (Matador, Solid), and Art Blakey (A Jazz Message).
As a leader, he recorded more than seventy albums, primarily for the Milestone label. His first album as a leader for Blue Note, The Real McCoy, may have been his finest, a quartet record with Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones. There was no genre of jazz he did not perform brilliantly, from Latin Jazz to large and small ensembles. His final album, released ten years ago, was a solo recording.
To try to catch the breadth of his recordings, enjoy this hour plus tribute to McCoy Tyner, including the following musical selections:
John Coltrane Quartet - "After the Rain"
McCoy Tyner - "Song of the New World"
McCoy Tyner & Bobby Hutcherson - "Dearly Beloved"
McCoy Tyner - "Once I Loved"
McCoy Tyner - "Search for Peace"
Lee Morgan - "Twlight Mist"
Joe Henderson - "Blue Bossa"
John Coltrane Quartet - "Spiritual" (Live at the Village Vanguard)
McCoy Tyner - "After the Rain"