McCoy Tyner Trio
2006 Jazz Winnipeg Festival
Manitoba Theatre Center
June 22, 2006
McCoy Tyner brought his trio to town and they did not disappoint an enthusiastic Winnipeg crowd. Along with bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, Tyner showed why he is still one of the best pianists in improvised music. His group as a whole also demonstrated a sense of cohesiveness and interaction that is hard to find.
The trio began the concert with a Tyner original from his recent Land of Giants album, entitled "Manalyuca . The leader opened with a heavily chorded solo; Moffett was next, tapping the bow on the strings of his instrument, creating a most exotic timbre. The bass solo concluded with some incredibly quick pizzicato work.
Moffett's playing that evening was astounding, as he demonstrated a strong technique to go along with some very creative and original ideas, utilizing the bow to the tap the strings was just one. Admittedly, this above sentence merely described further my initial notes that read, Charnett = MONSTER.
Following a reading of Tyner's "Ballad for Aisha , the three men simply cooked on another composition from the pen of the leader, "Steppin' , a song that includes many Tyneresque licks sprinkled throughout its theme On this tune the bass and drums dropped out about halfway through, allowing Tyner an opportunity to improvise freely over the changes.
Moffett and Gravatt then left the stage while Tyner remained and performed a beautiful solo rendition of "For All We Know .
It was noticeable that Tyner's trio was in tune with one another, playing together as a group in a way that was most impressive. At times the musicians all soloed simultaneously, yet not in cacophonous fashion; all were contributing to the "whole , taking the music up another level.
Tyner played with his usual intensity and passion. His solos were often built upon clusters on chords that emanated forcefully from the keyboard.
To see two legends in two days (Bobby Huctherson's quartet had performed the previous evening) who are both still vitally important musicians on their respective instruments, was truly wonderful. It's a shame these opportunities are all too rare.