Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Real McCoy

McCoy Tyner (one of my idols) played the Hogg Auditorium at UT on this night.

Prior to moving to TX in '93, I used to go see McCoy's trio play several times a year. The shows were usually at one of two venues, Sweet Basil in NYC or at the Towne Crier in Brewster, NY. My memory is probably failing me now, but typically he was accompanied by Louis Hays and Avery Sharpe. Obviously, I went to the show with certain expectations after waiting over 13 yeras.

The show this evening, featured a septet. (Piano, trumpet, alto, trombone, tenor, bass and drums). The horn players with the exception of Steve Turre on trombone, were all fairly young. Good and solid, but obviously still searching for their voices. McCoy seemed to be mentoring some of them in manner reminiscent of the way that Miles did with his bands, in his final years.

McCoy himself was great, he still has it. I am worried now however, that his health may be failing. I've already made a mental note to try and catch him as often as possible in the future. The show is part of an anniversary tour commemorating Impulse records, and included songs exclusively from their catalog. Their rendition of Coltrane's Impressions was fantastic. I was disappointed however, that although they played several Duke Ellington songs, Caravan was not one of them. (Seemed like it would have been the perfect septet piece).

The highlight of the night was the rhythm section, Eric Gravatt on drums and Charnett Moffett on bass. Eric reminded me of Elvin Jones, 'nuff said. Moffett stole the show (which may explain why he didn't solo until the later in the evening. Moffett clearly plays acoustic and electric bass, and plays both well. He has this unique way of back integrating electric bass finger technique on the upright. All I can say is "it was a sight to behold." And, it was done in a way that the musicianship was not compromised.

Bottom Line: Can't wait to see McCoy again in the near future and I will probably be on the lookout for Charnette Moffett.

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