McCoy Tyner

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About McCoy Tyner

Pianist/composer McCoy Tyner was one of the key architects of post-bop jazz, expanding the genre’s parameters as a member of John Coltrane’s band and on his own. Born in Philadelphia in 1938, he learned piano as a teen and became a mainstay at Philly jazz clubs in the ’50s. By 1960 he was living in New York, working first with Benny Golson and Art Farmer’s Jazztet and then with Coltrane, becoming part of the latter’s legendary quartet with bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones. Together they created revolutionary masterpieces like 1964’s Crescent and 1965’s A Love Supreme, with Tyner’s expansive harmonic approach as the crucial complement to Coltrane’s visionary outside-the-lines style. Tyner had released his own debut album in 1962, but 1967’s The Real McCoy, his first for Blue Note, marked a new beginning, as he applied the concepts he’d created alongside Coltrane (whose band he left in ’65) to different contexts. Tyner began building a new post-bop language, sometimes incorporating international influences and modalities. Honoured with five Grammys and an NEA Jazz Master designation, Tyner continued working into the late 2010s, passing away in 2020 at age 81.

Philadelphia, PA, United States
11 December 1938
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