McCoy Tyner Quartet – live at Jazz Workshop, Boston – December 11, 1973 – WBCN-FM – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
McCoy Tyner Quartet this weekend. In a live gig recorded on his 35th birthday, December 11, 1973, Tyner is joined by Azar Lawrence on tenor and soprano saxophone – Billy Hart on drums and Alex Blake on bass.
Tyner is considered to be one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century, an honor he earned during and after his time with Coltrane. Although he was a member of Coltrane’s group, he was never overshadowed by Coltrane. He complemented and inspired Coltrane’s open approach. His style of piano is comparable to Coltrane’s maximalist style on saxophone. Tyner and Coltrane used similar scales, chordal structures, melodic phrasings, and rhythms.
Tyner, who is left-handed, plays with a low bass left hand in which he raises his arm high above the keyboard for an emphatic attack. His right-hand soloing is detached and staccato. His melodic vocabulary is rich, ranging from raw blues to complexly superimposed pentatonic scales; his approach to chord voicing (most characteristically by fourths) has influenced contemporary jazz pianists, such as Chick Corea.
His music for the Blue Note and Milestone labels often took the music of the Coltrane quartet as a starting point. Tyner also incorporated African and East Asian elements in his music. On Sahara he played koto in addition to piano, flute, and percussion. These albums have been cited as examples of innovative jazz from the 1970s that was neither fusion nor free jazz. Trident (1975) is notable for Tyner’s use of harpsichord and celeste, instruments heard rarely in jazz.
During the 1980s and 1990s Tyner worked in a trio that included Avery Sharpe on bass and Louis Hayes, then Aaron Scott, on drums. He made solo albums for Blue Note, starting with Revelations (1988) and culminating in Soliloquy (1991). After signing with Telarc, he recorded with several trios that included Charnett Moffett on bass and Al Foster on drums. In 2008, he toured with a quartet of Gary Bartz, Gerald L. Cannon, and Eric Kamau Gravatt.
Relax and enjoy.