McCoy Tyner’s Childhood Hero

November 26th, 2013

Childhood Heroes — We all had them…

Excerpted from exclusive Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, our guests talk of theirs.

This edition…McCoy Tyner

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JJM Who were your heroes?

MT When I was growing up, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk were basically the people who inspired me on the piano. Later on, I found out about Art Tatum and others. Bud and Thelonious were the main people who inspired me. Bud Powell, fortunately, moved around the corner from me when I was about 15. It was in the mid 50’s, and his brother, Richie, was with the Max Roach/Clifford Brown band. Richie had an apartment around the corner and Bud moved in. I was very fortunate to have a gentleman that inspired me right around the corner, in my neighborhood.

JJM Was he your first memory of listening to a piano performance as a child?

MT I had an R&B band in junior high school, and some of the older musicians got me involved in the modern concept. I think Bud was one of the first, but I wouldn’t say he was the first. He and Thelonious culminated around the same time. I can’t say who I heard first.

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To read our interview with McCoy Tyner, where he discusses the classic John Coltrane recording A Love Supreme, click here

A 1962 filmed performance of Bud Powell playing “Anthropology”

Thelonious Monk playing “‘Round Midnight”

The McCoy Tyner Trio, with Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson

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