Friday, February 03, 2006

The Real McCoy

Last night I attended a concert which has to take the top spot. It was all-time best concert I've attended.

The great McCoy Tyner does a 2-week residency at Yoshi's every year; each week playing with a different lineup. This year:
  • Week 1: Lewis Nash (drums), Joe Lovano (tenor), Dave Holland (bass)
  • Week 2: Eric Harland(drums), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), Ravi Coltrane (soprano), Charnett Moffet (bass)
Week 1 was an outstanding performance. This was the first time I'd seen Dave Holland, and the guy's got some amazing skills. He complemented Joe Lovano's screaming tenor really well. McCoy was a little subdued; letting the rest of the band do their thing. While I left that concert pretty impressed, nothing could've prepared me for what was to come the following week.

Eric Harland has to be one of the most intuitive drummers in jazz today. I've never seen any drummer gel with the other performers as well as he did. And his solos lit up the stage. Rick mentioned that apparantly when this guy was a kid, he weighed in at 300lb. Now he's a bloody rail. Being so large he didn't have much of a social life as a kid, so he just stayed home and practiced.

Also the first time I'd seen Charnett Moffet. Talk about a virtuoso. This guy's all the way up there with Stanley Clarke and Charles Mingus. He started playing bass (his 3rd instrument) at the age of around 8, and by now, his technique is unstoppable.

Old man McCoy's looking older each year, but this evening the man could've been 20. He was just so energized. It was awesome to see the effect of having great people to play with.

Rick and I almost attempted to get tickets for the next set, or for the next day, but we should've guessed; they were sold out. I'm really looking forward to catching the SFJazz Collective this season; if only to see Eric Harland and Bobby Hutcherson perform together again.

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