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McCoy Tyner Trio
- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Check out our Sponsors
Check out our Sponsors

Al Foster, Drums
George Mraz, Bass

315 West 44th Street, NYC
Gianni Valenti, Owner
Andy Kaufman, Business Manager
Tarik Osman, Manager

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 21, 2003
Originally Published on

McCoy Tyner, whom I had previously heard at the old Sweet Basil and in Boston, some years ago, has not lost his touch. He tore into the keyboard, no buildup, a seasoned, strong performer. The first piece was abstract, driven, and percussive, with full support from Al Foster's attentive drums, and initially a very soft bass. When George Mraz took center-stage on bass, his solo was a nice surprise. These musicians often played with eyes closed, as they showcased each other in a familiar approach. Foster's drums had a storm-like quality, and he played under and over his hands. The piano finished his trills, and "Train Light" ended sharply. The next piece, "Suddenly", evoked a new mood, contemplative and reminiscent of Bill Evans. Tyner beats a steady rhythm that hails a clave effect with bass and drums. Yet, there was a decidedly American theme to this piece, like rolling hills and fireworks, with few solos and soft backup. Momentum built to full volume and tone. This was a McCoy Tyner creation, and they finished together on a dime.

"My Foolish Heart' took the piano across the keyboard, with high trills and sharp staccato surprises, followed by soft, mellow passages. The following piece, more abstract, had Al Foster in constant joy, using his percussion as tiny chimes and edgy sounds off the rims of the drums. I heard African rhythms here, as Al went wild in an extended solo that ended with a quick glance to McCoy, as the three finished this piece in a blaze of sound. The final piece, prior to an encore, was sexy and rhythmic, with George's bass as the driving force. There was a rare smile on McCoy's face, as he tore into this familiar melody, in front of the percussion, and the inherent marching tempo exploded in finale. The McCoy Tyner Trio is a must-see in their next visit to Birdland.

Gianni Valenti, Owner

McCoy Tyner at Leisure

Stafford Hunter and Roberta

Stafford Hunter and Patience Higgins

McCoy Tyner and George Mraz

Tarik Osman and Gianni Valenti

Al Foster, Guest, and Don Belfer

Roberta and Don Belfer, Guest

Tarik Osman and McCoy Tyner


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at