Tyner, McCoy (Alfred McCoy Tyner), 1938–2020, American jazz pianist, b. Philadelphia. He played with Art Farmer and Benny Golson's Jazztet (1959–60), then with John Coltrane's quartet (1960–65). With Coltrane he created a percussive, improvisational style of accompaniment; his use of powerful pentatonic chords influenced subsequent jazz pianists. His playing dominates “My Favorite Things,” “A Love Supreme,” and other pieces nearly as much as Coltrane's saxophone. He then led a number of jazz ensembles and also performed solo and as a sideman. One of jazz's finest avant-garde pianists, he played performed and recorded mainly with small groups from the 1980s. Among his most popular albums are The Real McCoy (1967), Sahara (1972), Soliloquy (1988), The Turning Point (1992), and Illuminations (2005). The recipient of five Grammy Awards, he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2002.
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Tyner, McCoy (Alfred)(1938– ) jazz musician; born in Philadelphia, Pa. An influential pianist, he began with the Jazztet in 1959 and then emerged between 1960 and 1965 as a dynamic keyboard artist in the historic John Coltrane Quartet. He free-lanced as a sideman with various singers until 1972, and went on to lead his own ensembles.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.