Listen to our exclusive playlist honoring the phenomenal solo catalog of the man who redefined jazz piano
In a 1961 interview with The New York Times, John Coltrane said of his bandmate McCoy Tyner, “My current pianist holds down the harmonies, and that allows me to forget them. He’s sort of the one who gives me wings and lets me take off from the ground from time to time.”
Tyner, who passed away yesterday at age 81, was an integral part of the sound Trane had been constructing with his classic quartet rounded out by the heavyweight rhythm section of Jimmy Garrison on double bass and drummer supreme Elvin Jones. As many friends, associates and disciples have expressed across social media in the last two days, modern jazz piano would not be the same without his magic touch.
Personally speaking, I have been picking up McCoy Tyner solo albums during my recent record shop runs, and it’s just such satisfying journey to hear the many directions he took jazz piano without ever selling out to synths, organs or the Fender Rhodes across four decades.
To honor the life of this giant of his art, we put together a playlist that travails the entirety of his career as a leader.
For many of us, McCoy Tyner was our introduction to the intricacies of the 88 keys when we first listened to A Love Supreme in our History of Jazz class at college. He has been so crucial to helping us understand and appreciate the beauty and chaos of the piano with parallel waves of emotion and grace.
No amount of words in this article or any other on the Internet can truly articulate this loss.