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McCoy Tyner

It is not an overstatement to say that modern jazz has been shaped by the music of McCoy Tyner. His blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. His harmonic contributions and dramatic rhythmic devices form the vocabulary of a majority of jazz pianists. Born in 1938 in Philadelphia, he became a part of the fertile jazz and R&B scene of the early ‘50s. His parents imbued him with a love for music from an early age. His mother encouraged him to explore his musical interests through formal training. At 17 he began a career-changing relationship with Miles Davis’ sideman saxophonist John Coltrane

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone

Read "Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The career of Hal Galper has earned the pianist acclaim as both a performer and educator. Perhaps most importantly, it has drawn attention to his contributions to the music as a true innovator. While other pianists of his era gained more recognition, Galper sought out a career path where acclaim would be genuine among his peers ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Denin Koch

Read "Take Five with Denin Koch" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Denin Koch Hailed as possessing “pristine playing, meticulous composing" and “a very personal voice deserving of attention," guitarist and composer Denin Koch has synthesized his wide and varied influences into a unique approach to jazz improvisation. He has performed with Arturo Sandoval, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Daniels, Ryan Keberle, and ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A focus on Charles Tolliver

Read "A focus on Charles Tolliver" reviewed by Bob Osborne

Connect is the first release from trumpeter Charles Tolliver in over a decade. The new album finds him in fine form and good company. With a recording career which began in the mid-1960s, and an impressive, albeit relatively small, back catalogue he is possibly one of the great unsung trumpeters in jazz. The show includes music ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times

Read "Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times" reviewed by Chuck Koton

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence has been one of the most dynamic and spiritually-charged reed players of the post-John Coltrane generation. Lawrence forged his sound in the fires of the Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner bands in the 1970s and, for nearly five decades, he has performed and recorded with the best musicians in the ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)

Read "DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)" reviewed by Noah Haidu

In chapter 2 of my book Doctone, I interviewed drummer Billy Hart and we discussed his interaction with Kenny Kirkland as he emerged in the 1970's fusion scene, his unique personality, the “Kirklandese" language and Kenny's legacy as one of the great pianists and composers in this music Noah Haidu: What were your first ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable for free here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly an ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Fiftieth Anniversary Blue Notes for September

Read "Fiftieth Anniversary Blue Notes for September" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Blue Note fiftieth anniversaries, as usual, on this first show of the month: Reuben Wilson (A Groovy Situation), McCoy Tyner (Asante) and Jimmy McGriff (Something to Listen to). And there's another James P. Johnson Blue Note single (BN-26) that includes “Caprice Rag" (piano players, pay attention). We've also got 21st century music from the U.K.'s Sarah ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with AXIOM

Read "Take Five with AXIOM" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Axiom Founded and brought together by brothers Pete and Phil Templer, guitarist/composer and drummer/percussionist/composer respectively, the goal was to establish a creative and engaging environment to present a dynamic musical experience to audiences of all types. Pete and Phil both hail from the Midwest where they began their musical journey studying and playing ...


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