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McCoy Tyner: In Memorium


McCoy Tyner: In Memorium

McCoy Tyner: Master of Structure and Atmosphere
McCoy Tyner (December 11, 1938 – March 6, 2020) is by far the most important pianist in Jazz since Thelonious Monk. His influence on pianists who came after him is enormous. Playing with John Coltrane in The Classic Quartet one of the most iconic ensembles in music, and under the influence of ‘Trane, Mr Tyner modal approach helped shape all Jazz – especially Jazz piano – right from the group’s seminal music from the 1960’s to the present day.

The Classic Quartet – (l-r) Elvin Jones (d), McCoy Tyner (p), John Coltrane (ts, ss) and James Garrison (db)

Mr Tyner was also a quiet, spiritual man, just like ‘Trane. It is for this reason that his passing leaves a great big void in music. His was a pianism that de-constructed the harmonics of every chord known to musicians since its invention. But even as he did this he rebuilt, with aristocratic elegance and absolute mastery, music’s harmonic architecture, redolent of regal form, in living colour. His style will surely be copied by many more pianists to come, but like ‘Trane, the humanity that seemed to flow through his music will be hard – even impossible – to emulate. ‘Nuff said…

Based in Canada, Raul da Gama is a Canadian poet, musician and accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically. Raul studied music at Trinity College of Music, London and has read the classics, lived and worked in three continents and believes that there is a common thread running through every culture on earth. It is this unifying aspect of humanity that occupies his thoughts each day as he continues to write poetry and critique music. His last book was The Unfinished Score: The Complete Works of Charles Mingus, a book that relocated the life and works of the great American composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, to the landscape of poetry. He is currently at work on a poem of some length.


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