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Soar With the Music of McCoy Tyner
Power exists in the world on many levels, and in many forms. The best description would be that the phenomenon itself; is best described as something that exerts force or strength. This definition purely exemplifies the thunderous and unique expression in the music of McCoy Tyner.
McCoy Tyner has been considered one of the most influential jazz pianists in the last 50 years. An extraordinary virtuoso, he hasn't altered his style significantly from the early days of his inception. His music, which is still powerful and fresh-continues to evolve. Whether live in concert, or in the comfort of your home, it's always a wonderful experience to soar with the Music of McCoy Tyner.
McCoy grew up in Philadelphia, and shared the neighborhood with two other jazz giants-Bud and Richie Powell. His early days paying dues found him gigging locally, where he met the legendary John Coltrane. The innovative and brilliant saxophonist John Coltrane was inspired by few complementary pianists of his time. McCoy Tyner was the exception. He had both the power and presence not to be overpowered. You can clearly hear his distinct musical voice and singular confidence in the early recordings with Coltrane. Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones formed the powerful triad of the classic and famous quartet. For five years, these brilliant souls recorded jazz that will stand the test of time. Few people know that after leaving the group, McCoy Tyner worked as a sideman with Ike and Tina Turner. This, in every sense of the word, would be considered an extraordinary transition in the musical journey of McCoy. These were his lean years, yet his recordings were always innovative and energetic to a fault in the groups that he continued to play and record jazz music with.
McCoy's greatness was recognized with he signed on with Milestone Records from 1972 through 1981. He made 19 recordings during this 9-year span of creativity. Milestone Records understood the genius of McCoy Tyner, and gave him a wide birth to express his omnific talents on the ivory. Many of his recordings during this span utilized symphony orchestras-often with a full compliment of strings.
From early on as Coltrane's piano man, it was evident that McCoy Tyner was destined to find his own voice in a world of jazz giants. His music defines a unique style that is expressed with ferocious power, timing, and grace. Emotionally arousing and structurally challenging, McCoy's genius is still at the forefront of what avant-garde music is defined to be. His complex chord structures and progressions are from a place far away-a place that only McCoy Tyner feels completely at home in.
The intensity and force in which he moves through his musical concourse is unmatched by any other jazz pianist. This is not meant to marginalize the gifts or accomplishments of any other musician past or present-by any means whatsoever. There are extraordinary talents that share their endowments with the world. This level of respect and appreciation is purely personal, and is born from a time and place-where I was fortunate enough to grasp the vision of what true excellence is.
The validity of excellence holds the same congruence for any of us who can appreciate it. The music of McCoy Tyner will have you searching for a foothold-no matter what your preferred musical genre is. This affect is immediate, and quite often permanent.
The early years of any musician will tell you a lot about their latent possibilities. The music of McCoy Tyner was opulent as far back as his initial recordings with Impulse Records. Check out such recordings such as Inception, Great Moments with McCoy Tyner, Nights of Ballads and Blues, and Today and Tomorrow. McCoy's music later found its way to the Blue Note Label, followed by Milestone Records and other notable recording companies.
You can tell the respect of an artist by their fan club. Among those that McCoy's music has influenced are as follows-Alice Coltrane, Patrice Rushen, Joe Bonner, and Brian Auger to name a few. McCoy Tyner's musical legacy should be sampled by anyone who loves music. You may decide to spend a while searching through his discography, or perhaps the decision will be to move on to other areas. In either case, the one thing you'll be left with is a feeling that a true Master of their art-has passed this way.
Forty years is a long time to push the envelope of near-perfection, and McCoy Tyner shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. I once had the privilege of sitting behind the Master years ago, when he performed at a jazz club in Southern California. From the moment his ambidextrous hands struck the ivory and black keys with magical thunder, I was enthralled and lost in a rapture of awe and respect.
You owe it to yourself to experience the genius of McCoy Tyner's music.