McCoy Tyner – what’s in a name?



You may or may not know this, but MC5 singer Rob Tyner, born Robin Derminer, took his name from jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. And what a name it is. Think Detroit rock ’n’ roll, and Rob Tyner’s name is right up there with that of Iggy Pop, Mitch Ryder and Bob Seger. Thank McCoy Tyner, who is performing at the Detroit Jazz Festival this Saturday, August 31, at 7:45 p.m. on the Carhartt Amphitheater Stage.

Our own Charles Latimer has a feature in the MT this week, previewing the Jazz Fest, in which he refers to McCoy Tyner as a jazz legend. Of course, he’s right.

Here’s a brief CV, for the casual or curious jazz novice. McCoy Tyner was born in ’38 in Philadelphia. He joined John Coltrane’s group in 1960 and recorded many classic records, including Live at the Village Vanguard, Ballads, Live at Birdland, Crescent, A Love Supreme, and The John Coltrane Quartet Plays.

Obviously, Coltrane knew his stuff and he worked with the best. However, Tyner didn’t appreciate a change of direction and left the band, saying "I didn't see myself making any contribution to that music... All I could hear was a lot of noise. I didn't have any feeling for the music, and when I don't have feelings, I don't play."

Tyner formed his own trio and subsequently put out a ton of records, though he also worked with everyone from Sonny Rollins to George Benson. Tyner is a true legend of jazz, and it’s going to be great to be able to welcome him back to Detroit.

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