Originally, I had thought I had last seen McCoy Tyner in 2008. I did a double take when I discovered that almost 7 years had passed, since I last saw him play at Hogg Auditorium. Time sure flies.
I arrived at the One World Theater early, and was not surprised to run into many people I knew. One of them, Ric Furley, had mentioned that McCoy was looking very frail, and played a
short set, excusing himself to rest between shows. Hearing this, I was anxious to get upstairs and get in as many minutes listening as possible, just in case he had to cut that show short, as well.
The late show started on time, and as McCoy was helped out on stage, he did look very frail. Nothing like the man that I had a drink with at the Town Crier in Brewster, NY, back in 1990 or 1991. He seems unable to walk without assistance, and his speaking voice is very soft now. At times, it is hard to discern what he is saying, even with a microphone.
When he sats down at the Piano however, it's was a whole 'nother story, all together! It was like switch had been clicked. His playing is still very powerful, and fluid. Still, I am hoping that this doesn't end up being one of the last times I get to see him play.
The show lasted about an 70-80 minutes, and his band mates talked him into one encore song. In all, they played 7 pieces. They did play some Coltrane material, but none of the
hits like Favorite Things. I actually thought he was going into that during the encore, since he was doing the E Dorian vamp, but the melody never arrived.
I must say the bassist and drummer were exceptional, and they both did an outstanding job.
Out of the 7 songs, I recognized these 3.
- Blues on the Corner
- Duke Ellington's, In a Mellow Mood
Here's hoping there's more McCoy shows in my future.