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McCoy Tyner has died, aged 81


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Thinking about it, I also saw McCoy’s trio with Gravatt a year or two earlier at NorthSea. He looked pretty frail on that occasion, less so at the Bath Forum. Very grateful to have caught both appearances.

Before that it was 2 or 3 appearances at Ronnie Scotts with the trio. Tootie Heath on drums the first time, then Aaron Scott. Prior to that was the great Quintet with John Blake and Joe Ford. Wilby Fletcher and John Lee completed that group.

Edited by sidewinder
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23 hours ago, sidewinder said:

That would be the last UK tour I guess, around 2006/2007. I saw him then too and yes - very frail looking when walking across the stage. I think it was part of a double bill with Joshua Redman.

I also saw him on a double bill with Redman, at the Keswick Theatre.  Saw him a few years earlier there on a double bill with Marian McPartland.  Both were great experiences.  The only other time I saw him was in the 70's at the long-gone Bijou Cafe on Broad Street.  Quintet.  Joe Ford was part of it, foggy on who the other musicians were, though I'm thinking George Adams was the other sax player.  I know McCoy just blew away the sax players that night, as he so often did in that period.  Sonny Fortune and the youthful Azar Lawrence seemed to fare best.  Anyways, Tyner was amazing.  No one else except Billy Harper has reached me so deeply, and surely Tyner was a major influence on Harper.  So thankful for his life and his music.


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The mellow and gentle side often goes unremarked.  I'm thinking of pieces like "Twilight Mist," "Espanola," "You Taught My Heart to Sing," "Good Morning, Heartache," and many ballads (especially solo).  All good, good stuff.

From what I can tell, McCoy Tyner was still playing live less than two years ago.  Yet no recordings for a decade or more.



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One of my favorite pianists and live performers, I was very fortunate to see him live at least 14 times. Every time was a thrill.

September, 1983: McCoy Tyner Quartet at the Judge's Chambers in Dallas. Gary Bartz, John Lee, Wilby Fletcher. When they played Contemplation...

November, 1983: McCoy Tyner Quintet at the Caravan of Dreams, Fort Worth. Same group plus John Blake.

September, 1984 (two nights): McCoy Tyner Quintet at the Caravan of Dreams. Substitute Gerald Veasley on bass guitar. Two nights in a row, the intensity and energy of this group was incredible.

November, 1985: McCoy Tyner Trio at the Caravan of Dreams. The Trio was initially Avery Sharpe on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. At some point, Aaron Sharpe replaced Louis Hayes.

November, 1985, McCoy Tyner Trio at the Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, Dallas. 

May, 1986, McCoy Tyner Trio at Sweet Basil, NYC

November 15, 1986: McCoy Tyner Trio at the Caravan of Dreams

April, 1988: McCoy Tyner Trio at Caravan of Dreams

February 16, 1990: McCoy Tyner Trio at the Caravan of Dreams

June 13, 1992: McCoy Tyner Trio at Sweet Basil

January 6, 1993: McCoy Tyner Trio at Sweet Basil

November 18, 2006: McCoy Tyner, Hogg Auditorium, Austin

October 26, 2007: McCoy Tyner with Gary Bartz, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette, Jazz Improv Festival, NYC.

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During the late 70´s he was among our favourites, thanks Milestone records his then recent Albums were easy to purchase and very much discussed. 

Super Trios was great and still gets much Spinning here. 

And that famous Encounter with Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter and Al Foster (Milestone Allstars) . 

I saw him live excactly 40 years ago in March 1980 with his sextet, the Edition with John Blake on violin, a Saxophone Player...…, they really cooked. 

The most representative record then was "Horizon", and "4 Quartets"...…..

And of Course I love all his BN records and  needless to say everything with Trane. 

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:01 PM, Milestones said:

I'm spinning Trident at this very moment.

I would not mind a record of Tyner/Bartz/Clarke/DeJohnette!


Is it me or is Elvin's drum sound very odd with how it's clear it's recorded in a booth, but has an odd almost gated effect on that?  I'm streaming it now but hope to get a lot of these albums on CD soon from the Milestone era.  I just have burns I made years ago of Enlightenment, Counterpoints: Live in Tokyo and Together from emusic as far as Milestones go.

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This one has John Blake on violin. He was the big surprise for me in the 1980 band, I had not seen or heard a fiddle much until then, besides gypsy music of course....., and yeah, the little features of Ornette Coleman that are quite funny but ok, 

But I don´t know who was the drummer then. I know it was McCoy the master, a Saxophone Player , John Blake on violin, Avery Sharpe I think was on bass, but who was the Drummer. I know it was not Al Foster, and I think there was a percussionist also. 

They played an almost 20 minutes or longer running tune that I later discovered as being titled "The Seeker". I loved and still love that tune so much. It has the essence of McCoy Tyners composing style.  



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It was the music from ‘Horizon’ that featured in the band with John Blake that I heard. His presence at the time was a surprise for me too, resplendent on the bandstand at Scotts in flash white suit. Almost like someone from ‘Saturday Night Fever’ !

Gheorghe - Maybe the drummer you saw was Wilby Fletcher? Before that it was ‘Sonship’ Theuss I think.

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