Still in the process of cutting large movie files taken from VHS cassettes into clips, I noticed that my friend, the late Otto Flückiger has quite a lot of concert footage with bands either led by pianist McCoy Tyner or featuring him prominently. The reason for so much footage with Tyner in Otto’s collection is not necessarily because Otto was fanatic about Tyner. Otto taped everything from the TV that was in what way ever connected to Jazz. And McCoy Tyner made a lot of tours in the 1970s and 1980s, his group was a regular feature on Jazz festivals around the world. So it really is no wonder that there is a lot of McCoy here.
Mainly to get a grasp of what is there, I have extracted all of the McCoy Tyner footage on these cassettes. Now that I am finished doing so, I thought why not present these rare clips on this here blog.
So here we go, starting with the earliest footage I found of one of Tyner’s own groups. Here is the McCoy Tyner Quartet at the Jazz Festival Montreux, July 7, 1973
The band consists of Tyner (p), Azar Lawrence (sax), Juini Booth (b), Alphonse Mouzon (dr). The way I understand it, parts of this concert also have been released on an LP. Since I do not own this one, I can not tell you what exactly is being played here.
Going on chronologically we stay in Montreux with a clip from July 18, 1981 showing the concert of a band called “The New York – Montreux Connection:
The band: Arthur Blythe, Paquito D’Riviera, Jimmy Heath,Percy Heath, McCoy Tyner, Chico Freeman, Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, Ronnie Burrage, John Blake, Stanley Cowell, John Hicks, Steve Mc Call. Note that there is also an unidentified alto saxophonist taking a solo later in the program. He is adressed as “Paul ….”, but I can’t understand his last name. So if you have an idea …
Next are more than fifty minutes of the McCoy Tyner Quintet at the Saalbau in Aarau, Switzerland, on February 24, 1984:
The Quintet in this clip: McCoy Tyner (p), Gary Bartz (sax), John Blake (violin), John Lee (eb), Wilby Fletcher (dr).
In 1985 McCoy Tyner was in Europe again, with a new trio featuring bassist Avery Sharpe and drummer Louis Hayes. At their apperance at the Estival Jazz in Lugano Pharoah Sanders was featured with the band. But the concert was started by the trio alone:
I do not have the whole concert, just three different parts from three different source VHS cassettes. The chronologically next portion of the Lugano concert is the one that features Sanders. I had alredy presented that one here some time ago, but for the sake of completeness, here it is gain:
I do not know if Pharoah Sanders was featured even longer on this concert, all that is here is the encore from that gig, featuring just the trio again:
Next up are two clips from Italian TV. Unfortunately quality is not too good here. Here are Tyner, Sharpe and Hayes at the Jazz Festival in Umbria 1985:
And here they are a year later at the Jazz Festival in Pescara:
In 1986 the trio also appeared on the German TV series “Jazz im Subway”, the Subway being a Jazz Club in Cologne:
I just have this excerpt from the show, showing McCoy playing a solo version of “You Taught My Heart To Sing” (Notice the funny subtitle, maybe someone from the TV station did not like the music?).
Last but not least a clip that was a personal surprise for me in more than one way. First: I did not know that Tyner played with George Benson – which he apparently did more than once. Secondly because I had dismissed George Benson as being xxx (well I do not want to hurt any sensitive George Benson fans). But I actually like this one very much:
The above clip comes from the 1989 Montreux Jazz Festival. Besides Benson and Tyner you will see and hear bassist Avery Sharpe and drummer Aaron Scott.