Piper Jaffray Jazz at Orchestra Hall: McCoy Tyner Quartet

Forever associated with John Coltrane's groundbreaking quartet, pianist McCoy Tyner helped chart the course of modern jazz with that phenomenal group in the 1960s while only in his early 20s. Juggling percussive firepower, blues-infused orchestral chords, and harmonic intrigue, Tyner subsequently continued spreading his crucial influence over a now-lengthy career as a solo artist, bandleader, and composer. Tyner's latest, Guitars (Half Note), is—amazingly, after such an illustrious run—something entirely different, matching the iconic pianist and one of his favorite rhythm sections (bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette) with five brilliant, iconoclastic string pickers. The result is a collection of extraordinary duels between the ever-resourceful Tyner and guitarists Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Derek Trucks, and Bill Frisell, plus banjoist Bela Fleck, traversing wondrous patches of lyrical beauty, breathtaking complexity, and ferocious intensity. Tyner's quartet for this date will include saxophonist Gary Bartz, a longtime associate who can channel Coltrane's lyricism, but has also roamed into funk and electric jazz with the likes of Miles; bassist Gerald Cannon, who has had significant stints with Art Blakey, Roy Hargrove, and Coltrane alumnus Elvin Jones; and locally based drum master Eric Kamau Grávátt, erstwhile Weather Reporter and periodic Tyner band member whose affiliation with the pianist has grown stronger as of late.
Thu., April 30, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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