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A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE BLOG
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
March 10, 2020

 

 

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Jazz Pianist McCoy Tyner

 

I saw in Saturday’s New York Times that revered Jazz pianist, McCoy Tyner, had died the day before at the age of 81.  Ben Ratliff wrote that Mr. Tyner was a “cornerstone of John Coltrane’s groundbreaking 1960’s quartet” and one of the most influential pianists in Jazz history with his rich, percussive playing, he gained notice with John Coltrane’s quartet, then went on to influence virtually every pianist in Jazz.”

 

He spent five years playing in John Coltrane’s group alongside other big names such as bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones, playing on  several albums that have become Jazz “landmarks” of the idiom including “My Favorite Things,  “Impressions”” and “A Love Supreme”.”

 

I studied music and the piano for most of my life and became a huge fan of McCoy Tyner after being introduced to his music from WDET’s  Program Director, Bud Spangler, when I first started working at the station in 1973.

 

McCoy Tyner soon became one of my favorite pianists as well as one of the greatest pianists in Jazz.  His powerful playing style was “one of a kind” with a strong left-hand, due partially to the fact he was left handed.  I liked this because I’m left-handed as well.

 

I got to see him play live many times over the years, which was definitely a powerful experience.  The last time I saw him was at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall about 6 years ago. You could tell that his health was slowing him down but the music was still moving strong. People were saying that it might be his last tour.

 

I had the opportunity to do a live interview with him a WDET in the the late 70’s while I was  doing my “Morphogensis” program..and he was on a promo-tour for his “Fly with the Wind” album.

 

The photo here was taken the day of that interview. I was mesmerized by his presence (to say the least!). It must have been around 1977. The other person in the photo was Chris Hubbarth, his escort from the record company, who was also a fan.

 

What a great experience that was as the interview went on for more than an hour. We ended up talking about all sorts of things,  from his work with John Coltrane, his chordal style and spirituality. I will never forget meeting him and our warm conversation.

 

The great McCoy Tyner  and his music will not be forgotten as his music will go on forever through his many recordings and other copies of his work – not to mention our memories.   He once said that to him “living and music are all the same thing.”

 

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