McCoy Tyner Statements by Leon Kerkstra

"He gets a very personal sound from his instrument and because of the clusters he uses and the way he voices them, that sound is brighter than what would normally be expected from most of the chord patterns he plays."

"McCoy has an exceptionally well developed sense of form, both as a soloist and an accompanist. Invariably in our group, he will take a tune and build his own structure for it."

John Coltrane.

"For me, for the moment my cooperation with McCoy is the highlight of my career. McCoy is the best accompanist of the world. Sometimes, I simply cannot believe what happens behind me. McCoy invented a piano style which belongs completely to himself, I do not know a modern jazz pianist who is not influenced by him. And he is funky as hell, Yeah.. McCoy is an inventor, and I'm not. I'm just a reasonable saxophone player. Merely a footnote in jazz history..."

Michael Brecker.

"After all these years, the truth still holds true: when you've heard McCoy Tyner play the piano, you've truly heard a piano played."

James Griffiths, The Guardian.

"McCoy Tyner, one of the greatest American classical (jazz) musicians is not only a prolific composer, he is one of the great improvisers of his time. Honesty, creativity and individuality are qualities not often found today in one person. They are found both in McCoy Tyner and in his music."

Billy Taylor.

"McCoy Tyner is the most masculine pianist in the history of jazz. He slaps keys like they were drum skins. The top pianists in jazz history can be counted on less than two hands, and Tyner is unquestionably one of them."

Dave McElfresh, Tucson Weekly.

"Hes got a signature sound as an improviser, but its there in his writing, too... here are a few people, like Monk and Wayne Shorter, whose playing and writing are connected. McCoys got that."

Ravi Coltrane.

"He never gets complacent... Hes playing those machine gun lines, just the sheer raw energy and organic power coming from the piano is as strong as ever."

Christian McBride.

"After a while your instrument becomes an extension of yourself, and you and your instrument become one."

"For me, all music is a journey of the soul into new, uncharted territory."

"To me living and music are all the same thing. And I keep finding out more about music as I learn more about myself, my environment, about all kinds of different things in life. I play what I live. Therefore, just as I can't predict what kinds of experiences I'm going to have, I can't predict the directions in which my music will go. I just want to write and play my instrument as I feel."

"I think of myself as a communicator and educator first, and as a musician after that."

McCoy Tyner.

©2000 Leon Kerkstra. JRC.  JAZZ RESOURCE CENTER