(CelebrityAccess) — McCoy Tyner, a noted jazz musician who performed with John Coltrane and later went on to a long solo career of his own, died on March 6th. He was 81.
His family announced his passing via social media, writing:
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of jazz legend, Alfred “McCoy” Tyner. McCoy was an inspired musician who devoted his life to his art, his family and his spirituality. McCoy Tyner’s music and legacy will continue to inspire fans and future talent for generations to come. The Tyner family is grateful for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, and respectfully requests that any inquiries be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
A native of Philadelphia who took to the piano at an early age, Tyner joined Benny Golson and Art Farmer’s Jazztet in 1960 but left in just six months to join John Coltrane’s quartet, replacing Steve Kuhn during its tenure at the Jazz Gallery, performing on key albums such as “My Favorite Things,” “Live At The Village Vanguard,” and “Live At Birdland.”
He exited the group in 1965 as Coltrane became increasingly interested in the avant-garde style of jazz pioneered by musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Sun Ra.
Following his departure from Coltrane’s group, Tyner signed with Blue Note and released a series of albums that included “The Real McCoy” (1967), “Tender Moments” (1967), “Time for Tyner” (1968), “Expansions” (1968) and “Extensions” (1970).
Later, recording for Milestone, his music became more experimental, and incorporated instruments as diverse as the koto, harpsichord and the celeste as he experimented with jazz fusion on albums such as “Sahara” (1972) and “Trident” 1975.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Tyner performed with a trio that included Avery Sharpe and Louis Hayes, but continued a solo career as well, returning to Blue Note.
Tyner’s accolades included an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.