I'll take a minute and stop ROFL at the colonized, compliant cacaphony of my Facebook feed long enough to supply a big birthday shoutout to a living legend.
Today's guy was a participant in music for which people literally established churches and houses of worship, like a Jazz liturgy.
And that was just how he started out on the scene. Since then he's given us almost 60 years of some of the finest, most creatively engaged music that's existed over those decades.
I've seen him play maybe ten times in my life, and will treasure each experience until my last sputter of respiration is breathed.
Taking it back to the beginning, you have to wonder what that classic Coltrane Quartet would have been without his block chorded backbone keeping the other three at least partially engaged with Earth.
I think of this all the time. Did those guys know, as it was happening, what havoc they were wreaking on the musical consciousness of our world? How the reverence they inspired would go on into the horizonal future, forever?
Probably not, I'm guessing... they were just doing what the Universe told them to do, and they drank coffee and worried about the rent just like the rest of us do after our jobs are let off.
And now the last of them that's still with us is 80 years old, and yes he's still playing like he's 18.
People tell you about how this horseshit or that is "The Real McCoy," but to me the only McCoy that's real is this one, born this day in 1938.
How many records has McCoy Tyner made and played on? I would add it up for you, but I have other things to do today before the sun goes down and honestly, I stop counting at 100.
It's a huge milestone for certain, and to mark it I have clouded one of those crazy videos from Norwegian TV that the NRK site occasionally rebroadcasts.
This one dates from a jazz festival in Norway in the summer of 1975, and you'll see it broadcast on American television at roughly the same time you'll see banana-shaped extraterrestrials land in a banana-shaped spacecraft on the White House lawn to sing The Banana Splits theme song.
McCoy Tyner Quartet
Molde Jazz Festival
01 My One and Only Love
Total time: 41:11
McCoy Tyner - piano
Azar Lawrence - saxophones
Juni Booth - bass
E.W. Wainwright - drums
Guilherme Franco - percussion
HD FLV file of a web rebroadcast from the NRK site
713 MB FLV here
I have deemphasized posting video stuff lately because it's too dodgy quality-wise and people really just don't consume video like this anymore, what with YouTube and so forth. But these NRK things are small enough in file size and HQ enough to bend that rule occasionally.
I'm trying to do another big milestone b'day thing tomorrow, but we'll see if I can rack it and FLAC it before the sun sets. For now, get on your stubby little knees and thank whatever Supreme Being you do or don't believe in for the life of McCoy Tyner.--J.