Iconic jazz pianist McCoy Tyner dies at 81

McCoy Tyner, the legendary pianist who first came to prominence with John Coltrane’s quartet in the 1960s, has died. He was 81.

Tyner is considered to be one of the most influential jazz pianists, with a catalogue that includes more than 70 recordings as a leader, more than two dozen with Coltrane and countless more as a sought-after sideman.

His death was announced in a post on his Facebook page.

Born in Philadelphia in 1938, Tyner joined Coltrane’s quartet in 1960 and became part of the “classic” lineup alongside Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. The band embarked on almost non-stop tours between 1961 and 1965 and also recorded prolifically during this time.

Tyner also recorded albums with his own jazz trio, and played as a sideman on numerous Blue Note records during that time.

When his time with Coltrane ended in 1965, Tyner formed a new trio and recorded several post-bop albums for Blue Note and Milestone in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s. The music was noted for incorporating African and East Asian elements, with several albums serving as examples of innovative jazz at the time that did not fall into what were then the more popular categories of jazz fusion or free jazz.


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