The Jazzcat

McCoy Tyner at Yoshi’s to bring in 2010!

by on Jan.04, 2010, under News


 As a child I remember the

movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. I was so enamored with the

concept of the “Golden Ticket” and what it would mean to be one of the special

people to posses one. We have all witnessed the magic of McCoy Tyner’s music

over the years and as time progresses, any ticket to see McCoy would be Golden!



Unfortunately, I did not have

one of those golden tickets to the sold out performances at Yoshis but, I

showed up to anyway and was able to acquire one. Traveling up to the Bay area

specifically to see jazz music is one of my favorite adventures because there

is always such musical treasure at the end of my rainbow.


Joined with the son of Trane,

the brightest rising virtuosic star on bass, and an incredible percussive

machine on drums, McCoy along with Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spaulding and

Francisco Mela proceed to get into the heart of many McCoy Tyner classics.

This is not the 60’s, the

room is not filled with smoke and drink and the audience etiquette has changed

into more of a listening experience as we are no longer living on the cutting

edge of brand new compositions. The Tyner experience has shifted from

thunderous levitation of erupting blocks of color to the more subtle wisdom and

mastery of sound that is uniquely and undeniably classic McCoy. Supported by

the creative strength of young powerhouses, classics like “Fly Like the Wind”,

“Blues on the Corner” and “Angelina” are just a few compositions the band

delivers, with each member of course, expressing their take on the music

through seductive solos and pious resonations.

“Distinctly McCoy” is a

phrase that represents a force in jazz like no other. Certain chords

progressions and melodic lines have influenced generations of listeners and musicians

alike to recognize, admire and adore that signature sound which continues to

emanate through one source. Maybe not quite as earth shattering as in earlier

years but just as potent and rich with a prism of powerful flavors. With this

particular band, the rhythm lays out the ferociousness of the core while Ravi

shapes and caresses with tender phrasing.

What must it be like to look up from

the piano and gaze upon the likeness and sound of an old friend; a spirited

kinship that connects the music from past to present. Life always has its share

of circumstances, peculiar, funny or what have you but with music, they always

contribute to creative spontaneity at a “Moments Notice”.


Esperanza is a worker and her

solo gets overwhelming approval from everyone including the enthusiastic female

contingency that adorn her youth, beauty, virtuosity and superior musical

intellect with an encouraging shout of “Go Head Girl”!


Francisco marches to his own

beat and so do we as he keeps his loving eye on McCoy. The characteristic

happiness of this wonderful human being exudes through his instrument and we

feel his percussive language embodied in the sound.


The crowd goes from elation

at the end of a tune to quiet as a mouse when McCoy performs a solo

composition. Each of these notes, chords structures and melodic runs holds the

most precious meaning as a wonderful and extraordinary lifetime of virtuosity

continues to carry us to our next destination. Turn back and look behind to see

a long road of notes that have led us to this exact moment and place. These

cats may play every night but our perception, perspectives and energies feed

the music and in return we are blessed with the sound that comes back to us; a

self fulfilling prophecy!


The music of McCoy Tyner has a

way of capturing you and keeping you suspended until resolution. It is a warm

grip that keeps the body still and the mind quiet while you absorb each and

every delectable delicacy. McCoy has been giving these gifts for decades and in

2010, he proves to be just as generous and gracious.



The world is unique in that

each day we are blessed with little pleasant gifts that have given us purpose,

meaning and add to the cumulative happiness of our existence. They are the

threads that weave the fabric of our creative consciousness and weather we play

or get played for, these sounds help formulate our opinions about life and love

and are responsible in part for our choices. Jazz is always the best choice and

as long as we are humbled and honored by the genius of the McCoy Tyner’s of the

world, we will continue our “Search for Peace”!



LeRoy Downs



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