March 7, 2020

Colby Colb Posts Tribute to his Uncle, Magnificent JAZZ LEGEND McCoy Tyner

Colby "Colb" Tyner, the Vice President of Urban Programming at Radio One, posts tributes on social media to his uncle, the legendary and brilliant Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. In one of his post he mentions that his uncle was a "Rock Star" overseas. The sad thing is, legendary jazz musicians like McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and many others should always be thought of as "rock stars." Their contributions to culture and music have been recognized throughout the world, however the same can't be said here at home in their own country.

McCoy Tyner died Friday, March 6, at his home in New Jersey. No cause of death was given. He was 81.

Colby Colb wrote on Instagram:

The world lost a musical treasure today. Sad to announce the death of my Uncle McCoy Tyner. Grew up in West Philadelphia started playing the piano at 13 in the back of my grandmother’s hair shop playing for the ladies getting their hair done. At 22 he joined the Jazzlet which featured Benny Golson then a few months later he joined the great John Coltrane’s quartet. After that he would set out on his own releasing over 70 plus albums from the 60’s thru the 2000’s. Toured the world multiple times. Nominated for 12 Grammys won 5. We shared the same birthday. One of the worlds greatest jazz pianists. Rest in paradise Unc... #ripmccoytyner

This composition right here (McCoy Tyner's - Contemplation) was always a favorite. This one, if you ever decide to forage into the magnificence of jazz music, is essential to any collection.

The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Tyner, who first attracted wide notice as a member of John Coltrane’s groundbreaking quartet, influenced virtually every pianist in jazz.

Mr. Tyner’s manner was modest, but his sound was rich, percussive and serious, his lyrical improvisations centered by powerful left-hand chords marking the first beat of the bar and the tonal center of the music.

That sound helped create the atmosphere of [John] Coltrane’s music and, to some extent, all jazz in the 1960s. (When you are thinking of Coltrane playing “My Favorite Things” or “A Love Supreme,” you may be thinking of the sound of Mr. Tyner almost as much as that of Coltrane’s saxophone.)

To a great extent he was a grounding force for Coltrane. In a 1961 interview, about a year and a half after hiring Mr. Tyner, Coltrane said: “My current pianist, McCoy Tyner, 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.”

We simply cannot imagine not including these quintessential jazz performances of My Favorite Things, Afro Blue, and Alabama by The John Coltrane Quarter with McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass for this story.

RIP Mr. Tyner.

Here are the tributes from Colby Colb

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