How could one not recognize them: McCoy Tyner’s percussive, room-filling piano chords, which whipped sax player John Coltrane to new heights in the 1960s.
Tyner grew up in Philadelphia. His neighbors were the brothers Bud and Richie Powell, the bebop pioneers, of who Richie died at a too young age in the tragic traffic accident that also robbed the genius trumpet player Clifford Brown’s life.
Tyner made his debut with Art Farmer’s and Benny Golson’s Jazztet, but was stolen away by Coltrane after half a year. Together with bass player Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones the pianist spent five years with the now classic John Coltrane Quartet. Tyner was already recording albums in his own name in that period.
After leaving Coltrane a difficult time started. He worked mainly as a sideman and ended up in Ike (also at this festival) and Tina’s orchestra. After signing with the Milestone label in 1972, he was finally recognized as one of the greats in jazz. Seeing as he has Coltrane to thank for much of his fame anyway, he frequently honors his old mentor with concerts dedicated to one of the greatest sax players of all time.
Tyner managed to find a number of talented musicians for this ‘Tribute to John Coltrane’. Vibraphone player Bobby Hutcherson is the man who brought the vibes closer to the marimba with his percussive, vibrato-less playing and bass player Charnett Moffet always delivers virtuoso, spectacular fireworks.
And drummer Eric Harland? He does what we expect of a drummer: swing relentlessly.