McCoy Tyner on NPR/70th Birthday

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Thursday December 11, 2008

NPR’s Tom Vitale recently interviewed pianist McCoy Tyner in New York city, during the jazz icons run of “70th Birthday Celebration” shows at the Blue Note Club.

Day to Day, December 11, 2008 – At the Bosendorfer grand piano at the Blue Note jazz club in New York, jazz pianist McCoy Tyner is trying to remember the changes to “You Taught My Heart to Sing,” a ballad he wrote 20 years ago.

“I wrote so many songs, sometimes I say, ‘What did I do here’ “ he says.

But if you hear Tyner play, you don’t forget his sound.

“That’s your identity,” he says.

“Your sound it’s like when you speak. You may not be able to see the person, but you recognize the voice.”

Born Dec. 11, 1938, Tyner is celebrating his 70th birthday this week with a weeklong engagement at the Blue Note and a new album to boot.

He made his name as a member of the legendary John Coltrane Quartet in the 1960s. Since then, he has brought his distinctive playing style, and his compositions, to dozens of records on which he leads his own bands.

To hear the entire interview click here