Alfred McCoy Tyner (born 11 December 1938) is a jazz pianist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known for his work with the John Coltrane Quartet and a long solo career.
Tyner was born in Philadelphia as the oldest of three children. He was encouraged to study piano by his mother. He finally began studying the piano at age 13 and within two years, music had become the focal point in his life. His early influences included Bud Powell
, a Philadelphia neighbor. Among many other things, Tyner's playing can be distinguished by a low bass left hand, in which he tends to raise his arm relatively high above the keyboard for an emphatic attack, creating at times a veritable tsunami of sound. Tyner's unique right hand soloing is recognizable for a detached, or staccato
quality, and descending arpeggios, both of a triadic shape and in other patterns. His unique approach to chord voicing (most characteristically by fourths) has influenced a wide array of contemporary jazz pianists.
Tyner's first main exposure came with Benny Golson
being the first pianist in Golson's and Art Farmer's legendary Jazztet (1960). After departing the Jazztet, Tyner joined Coltrane's group in 1960. (Coltrane had known Tyner for a while, and featured one of the pianist's compositions, "The Believer", as early as 1958.) He appeared on the saxophonist's popular recording of "My Favorite Things" for Atlantic Records. The Coltrane Quartet, which consisted of Coltrane on tenor sax
, Tyner, Jimmy Garrison
, and Elvin Jones
, toured almost non-stop between 1961 and 1965 and recorded a number of classic albums, including Live at the Village Vanguard
, Live at Birdland
, A Love Supreme
, and The John Coltrane Quartet Plays ...
, on the Impulse!
Tyner has recorded a number of highly influential albums in his own right. While in Coltrane's group, he recorded a series of important albums (primarily in the piano trio format) for Impulse! Records, starting with the fleet-fingered Inception (1962), which showcases Tyner's work as a composer.
The pianist also appeared as a sideman in many of the highly acclaimed Blue Note Records albums of the 1960s.
After leaving Coltrane's group, Tyner began a series of post-bop
albums released on Blue Note Records
, in the 1967–1970 time frame (The Real McCoy
, 1967; Tender Moments
, 1967; Expansions
, 1968; Extensions
, 1970). Soon thereafter he moved to the Milestone label and recorded many influential albums, including Sahara
(1973), and Fly With The Wind
(1976), which featured flautist Hubert Laws
, drummer Billy Cobham
, and a string orchestra. His music for Blue Note and Milestone often took the Coltrane quartet's music as a point of departure and also incorporated African and East Asian musical elements. On Sahara
, for instance, Tyner plays koto
, in addition to piano, flute, and percussion. These albums are often cited as examples of vital, innovative jazz from the 1970s that was neither fusion
nor free jazz
(1975) is notable for featuring Tyner on harpsichord
(rarely heard in jazz) and celeste
, in addition to his primary instrument, piano. Often cited as a major influence on younger jazz musicians, Tyner still records and tours regularly and played from the 1980s through '90s with a trio that included Avery Sharpe
on bass and Aaron Scott
on drums. He made a trio of mature yet vibrant solo recordings for Blue Note, starting with Revelations
(1988) and culminating with Soliloquy
(1991). Today Tyner records for the Telarc label and has been playing with different trios, the most recent of which includes Charnett Moffett
on bass and Eric Harland
Tyner was a Sunni Muslim
for a period of time beginning at the age of eighteen. His Muslim name
was Sulaimon Saud
. Today Tyner does not practice a specific religion.
McCoy Tyner was also married at one time and has three sons. His brother, Jarvis Tyner, is a high official in the leadership of the American Communist Party. McCoy, however, is not a pronounced advocate of any political ideology.
- Inception - 1962 - Impulse!
- Great Moments with Mccoy Tyner - 1962 - Impulse!
- Nights of Ballads and Blues - 1963 - Impulse!
- Today and Tomorrow - 1963 - Impulse!
- Live at Newport - 1963 - Impulse!
- Reaching Fourth - 1963 - Impulse!
- McCoy Tyner Plays Ellington - 1964 - Impulse!
- The Real McCoy - 1967 - Blue Note
- Tender Moments - 1967 - Blue Note
- Time for Tyner - 1968 - Blue Note
- Expansions - 1968 - Blue Note
- Cosmos - 1969 - Blue Note
- Extensions - 1970 - Blue Note
- Asante - 1970 - Blue Note
- Sahara - 1972 - Milestone/OJC
- Song for My Lady - 1972 - Milestone/OJC
- Echoes of a Friend - 1972 - Milestone/OJC
- Song of the New World - 1973 - Milestone/OJC
- Enlightenment - 1973 - Milestone/OJC
- Sama Layuca - 1974 - Milestone/OJC
- Atlantis - 1974 - Milestone/OJC
- Trident - 1975 - Milestone/OJC
- Fly with the Wind - 1976 - Milestone/OJC
- Focal Point - 1976 - Milestone
- Four Times Four - 1976 - Milestone
- Supertrios - 1977 - Milestone
- Inner Voices - 1977 - Milestone
- The Greeting - 1978 - Milestone
- Passion Dance - 1978 - Milestone
- Together - 1978 - Milestone
- Horizon - 1979 - Milestone
- 4 X 4 - 1980 - Milestone
- 13th House - 1981 - Milestone
- La Leyenda de La Hora - 1982 - Columbia
- Looking Out - 1982 - Columbia
- Dimensions - 1984 - Elektra
- It's About Time - 1985 - Blue Note
- Double Trios - 1986 - Denon
- Bon Voyage - 1987 - Timeless
- Tribute to John Coltrane - 1987 - Impulse!
- Live at the Musicians Exchange Cafe - 1987 - Who's Who In Jazz
- What's New? - 1987 - WestWind
- Revelations - 1988 - Blue Note
- Uptown/Downtown - 1988 - Milestone
- Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 1 - 1989 - KING Records
- Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 2 - 1989 - KING Records
- Things Ain't What They Used to Be - 1989 - Blue Note
- Soliloquy - 1991 - Blue Note
- Remembering John - 1991 - Enja
- New York Reunion - 1991 - Chesky
- 44th Street Suite - 1991 - Red Baron
- Key of Soul - 1991 - Sweet Basil
- The Turning Point - 1991 - Verve
- Just Feelin' - 1991 - Palo Alto
- Hot Licks: Giant Steps - 1993 - Sound Solutions
- Journey - 1993 - Verve
- Manhattan Moods - 1993 - Blue Note
- Solar: McCoy Tyner Trio Live at Sweet Basil - 1993 - Compose
- Prelude and Sonata - 1994 - Milestone
- Infinity - 1995 - Impulse!
- Live in Warsaw - 1995 - Who's Who In Jazz
- Autumn Mood - 1997 - Delta
- What the World Needs Now: The Music of Burt Bacharach - 1997 - GRP
- McCoy Tyner & the Latin All-Stars - 1999 - Telarc
- McCoy Tyner with Stanley Clarke & Al Foster - 2000 - Telarc
- Immortal Concerts: Beautiful Love - 2000 - Giants of Jazz
- At the Warsaw Jamboree - 2000 - Starburst
- Jazz Roots: McCoy Tyner Honors Jazz Piano Legends of the 20th Century - 2000 - Telarc
- McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard - 2001 - Impulse!
- Live in Warsaw: Lady From Caracas - 2001 - TIM
- Port au Blues - 2002 - Past Perfect
- Suddenly - 2002 - Past Perfect
- Land of Giants - 2003 - Telarc
- Hip Toe: Live at the Musicians Exchange Cafe 1987 - 2004 - Universe
- Modern Jazz Archive [live] - 2004 - Membran International
- Illuminations - 2004 - Telarc
- Counterpoints: Live in Tokyo - 2004 - Milestone
- Warsaw Concert 1991 - 2004 - Fresh Sounds
- Sahara - 2006 - Mobile Fidelity (SACD reissue)
- Quartet - 2007 - McCoy Tyner Music
- Afro Blue - 13 November, 2007 - Telarc
As a sideman
with John Coltrane:
with Wayne Shorter:
with Joe Henderson:
with Freddie Hubbard:
with Curtis Fuller:
with Lee Morgan:
with Milt Jackson:
with Donald Byrd:
'''with Hank Mobley:
with George Benson:
with Grant Green:
with Art Blakey: