posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy
HE’S WIDELY considered one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century, and yesterday McCoy Tyner was given the keys to the city – or our equivalent, a brass, mini Liberty Bell.
Mayor Nutter recognized Tyner as the 2015 Jazz Legend Honoree during the fifth annual Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month, which celebrates Philly’s jazz history with musical events throughout April.
Tyner, originally from West Philly, is an icon in the jazz community, and has performed alongside musical greats such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. He has won four Grammys and has released nearly 80 albums under his name.
“It’s wonderful to be back home in Philadelphia,” said Tyner, 76, who has spent recent years living in New York.
“I would like to thank the mayor and the people of this great city for making this possible for me. No matter where I am in the world, Philadelphia always has a special place in my heart.”
Nutter called Philly “the music town of the United States of America,” to raucous applause from an audience of musicians. “McCoy has changed the way everyone after him has played the piano,” said local Grammy-winning record-label owner, producer and composer Aaron Levinson.
“His percussive approach and sense of harmony signaled a new frontier for the instrument. And his embrace of African, Asian and Afro-Cuban ideas puts him in the league of Duke Ellington. Philadelphia can claim one of the giants of all time, and I applaud our mayor for making this happen.”