McCoy Tyner – Donaueschinger Musiktage (1974)

FrontCover1McCoy Tyner, a cornerstone of John Coltrane’s groundbreaking 1960s quartet and one of the most influential pianists in jazz history, died on March 6, 2020 at his home in northern New Jersey. He was 81. His nephew Colby Tyner confirmed the death. No other details were provided.

Along with Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and only a few others, Tyner was one of the main expressways of modern jazz piano. Nearly every jazz pianist since Tyner’s years with Coltrane has had to learn his lessons, whether they ultimately discarded them or not. Tyner’s manner was modest, but his sound was rich, percussive and serious, his lyrical improvisations centered by powerful left-hand chords marking the first beat of the bar and the tonal center of the music.

That sound helped create the atmosphere of Coltrane’s music and, to some extent, all jazz in the 1960s. (When you are thinking of Coltrane playing “My Favorite Things” or “A Love Supreme,” you may be thinking of the sound of Tyner almost as much as that of Coltrane’s saxophone.) To a great extent he was a grounding force for Coltrane. In a 1961 interview, about a year and a half after hiring Tyner, Coltrane said: “My current pianist, McCoy Tyner, holds down the harmonies, and that allows me to forget them. He’s sort of the one who gives me wings and lets me take off from the ground from time to time.”

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Tyner moved to the Milestone label in 1972, an association that continued until 1981 and that brought him a higher profile and much more success. In those years he worked steadily with his own band, including at various times the saxophonists Azar Lawrence and Sonny Fortune and the drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Eric Gravatt.

His Milestone albums with his working group included “Enlightenment” (1973), recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, which introduced one of his signature compositions, the majestic “Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit.” He also recorded for the label with strings, voices, a big band and guest sidemen including the drummers Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette.

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Tyner did not use electric piano or synthesizers, or play with rock and disco backbeats, as many of the best jazz musicians did at the time; owning one of the strongest and most recognizable keyboard sounds in jazz, he was committed to acoustic instrumentation. His experiments outside the piano ran toward the koto, as heard on the 1972 album “Sahara,” and harpsichord and celeste, on “Trident” (1975).

He resisted analyzing or theorizing about his own work. He tended to talk more in terms of learning and life experience. “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.” (New York Times)

And here is one of his brilliant concert … listen and enjoy !

Recorded live at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Donaueschingen, Germany
October 20, 1974. Very good satellite broadcast.

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Personnel:
Juini (Joony) Booth (bass)
Wilbert B (Wilby) Fletcher (drums)
Guilherme Franco (percussion)
Azar Lawrence (saxophone)
McCoy Tyner (piano)

TourProgramme
Tracklist:
01. Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit (Tyner) 17.41
02. In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington) 6.26
03. Love Bossa (Powell/ de Moraes) 26.39
04. Radio outro 0.21

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McCoy Tyner (December 11, 1938 – March 6, 2020)

Various Artists – Chesky Records – Promotional Sampler (1992)

FrontCover1It all started in 1978 when a young composer/musician named David Chesky, who was beginning a career on Columbia Records, found himself frustrated with the lack of artistic control afforded by his position. He asked his business partner and younger brother Norman if he thought they should start their own record company. But what did these two young men who had made their way from Miami to New York at a tender age know about running a business? Frankly, not much. But what the brothers may have lacked in corporate acumen they made up for with a burning passion to create great music and great sounds, and the desire to to create new and exciting ways to capture and reproduce music.

And so, Chesky Records was born. Norman remembers: “We wanted to please both musical connoisseurs and the high-end audiophiles by signing some of the best musicians in the world, and then capturing their live performances with the latest and best technology.” Adds David, “I would walk into a recording studio and see fifty microphones set up. When I realized that people don’t hear music that way, and that musicians play differently when they are recorded like that, I decided that if we ever started a company, it was going to have a different and unique recording philosophy.” By 1986, David was traveling to universities and talking to scientists and engineers about the parameters of recording capabilities. This was also the year that he had the honor of being introduced to the great classical pianist Earl Wild, who not only gave the younger musician some pointers on composition and performance, but also the opportunity to listen to the master tapes of one of his famous Rachmaninoff recordings from the Reader’s Digest series. David was so impressed by what he heard that he and Norman struck a deal with Wild and Reader’s to re-issue the work on audiophile-quality vinyl. The Cheskys had saved every nickel to build a custom mixer and tube tape recorder that would bring the original glory out of older recordings. The bid was successful, and the ensuing release was met with such widespread critical success that we were able to reissue the other Reader’s recordings and then do the same with a number of orchestral works on RCA.

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The next step would prove to be even more difficult than the first. We had to show that they were capable of not only producing wonderful reissues, but first-rate original recordings as well. Renting out the legendary RCA Studio A, we set up their custom-built equipment and recorded jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, followed in short succession by long-admired jazzmen Clark Terry and Phil Woods. As these initial efforts garnered raves from jazz fans and audiophiles alike, we managed to build a formidable roster of Latin American talent: Luiz Bonfa, Grammy-winning clarinet and alto saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, and vocalist Ana Caram. The Chesky catalog has grown steadily ever since, and includes jazz legends Peggy Lee, Herbie Mann, Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner, adult contemporary artists Livingston Taylor, Kenny Rankin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sara K., John Pizzarelli, and Christy Baron, classical keyboard masters Earl Wild and Igor Kipnis, and world music innovators Orquesta Nova, celebrated guitarist Badi Assad, Carlos Heredia, and I Ching.

Along with the excitement over showcasing famous musicians and establishing newer ones came significant technical advances in the recording process. Chesky Records was the first company to use 128x Oversampling to achieve previously unheard levels of fidelity, while utilizing the finest analog-to-digital converters to attain what came to be known as High Resolution Recordings. As well as the first independent American record label to record using the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) technology. The recently introduced first recordings made with 96kHz/24-bit components had astonished even the hardest-to-please audiophiles. At the same time that Chesky had been pushing the very boundaries of recorded music, we also reached our greatest artistic triumph. Paquito D’Rivera’s third Chesky release, Portraits of Cuba, a beautiful collection of jazz interpretations of Cuban folksongs, won the 1997 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Performance, beating out a slew of major-label competitors. Chesky Records has its collective eye on the horizon.

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Norman Chesky

Today Chesky continues to strive to broaden our audience while staying fast to our commitment to use the finest technology available to deliver beautiful music and develop the listening pleasures of tomorrow today. Our Binaural+ Series recordings sound great on headphones and speakers, and capture the sound of music as you would if you were sitting in front of the band. Recorded in high-resolution 192-kHz/24-bit sound with a special Binaural head (a “dummy” human head with specially calibrated microphones where the ears would be). Now headphone users can also hear the same three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings capturing even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event.

Now, with our sister company HDTracks.com, we are giving users the ability to purchase music as high-resolution audiophile quality downloads. HDTracks not only has the entire Chesky records catalog but a wide variety of all the music you love from Led Zepplin to Beethoven and eveything in-between. Think I-tunes, only HIGH-RES! (take from the “Official website”)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Sara K:.Miles Away 2.47
02. Kenny Rankin: Haven’t We Met ? 3.02
03, Paquito D’Rivera: Havana Cafe 6.34
04. Orquesta Nova:Serenata 4.33
05. Fred Hersch: Heartsong 5.55
06. McCoy Tyner::Recorda Me 9.48
07. Kenny Rankin: What Am I Gonna Do With You…Aime? 5.37
08. Bruce Dunlap: Spokes 6.10
09. Orquesta Nova: Oblivion 4.15
10. Fred Hersch: Child’s Song 7.07
11. Bruce Dunlap: Tesuque 4.16
12. Tom Harrell: Touch The Sky 6.40
13. Sara K.:Trust Somebody 3.40

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