Was at a party today and found myself aghast that I couldn’t pull John Coltrane’s piano MVP out of my head for at least 2 hours. Sorry, McCoy Tyner – you’d think after seeing you three times it’d be emblazened into my brain forever. I may need to start poring back over my old Jazz tracks again and brush up. I couldn’t remember drummer Tony Williams’ first name either – saw him at Yoshi’s in San Francisco – amazing how his playing commented on everything that was going on melodically – died way too young right after I saw him.
Here’s Tony with Mcoy – pretty sick
I remember back in ’91 or so when I popped in Coltrane’s Giant Steps for the first time (which was pre-McCoy and the quartet) and couldn’t make heads or tails of it, but I eventually stuck with it until I could sing every note and it became second nature to me. It was work, but well worth it – my first stab at understanding Jazz and as good place as any for anyone to start.
Of course, this will always be my fave track from that album – Naima – sheer beauty
The classic Coltrane quartet – John Coltrane – Tenor Sax, McCoy Tyner – Piano, Jimmy Garrison – Bass, Elvin Jones – Drums
If I’m trying to be impressive, I’ll tell you that this is a great example of a pedal point
: a single tone usually the tonic or dominant that is normally sustained in the bass and sounds against changing harmonies in the other parts
That’s about as educated as I can sound musically – but it’s the listening that really counts