Childhood Heroes — We all had them…
Excerpted from exclusive Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, our guests talk of theirs.
This edition…McCoy Tyner
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.
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