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McCoy Tyner at Caramoor Jazz Festival

McCoy Tyner

Maybe it was the aroma of the fragrant gardens that put the great pianist in an expansive mood, but McCoy Tyner’s Saturday night set ending the Caramoor Jazz Festival went well beyond a salute to the Impulse! albums of the 1960s. In the second and final New York-area appearance of his septet this year-the group began the Impulse! tour at the Blue Note in early June-Tyner made good on his promise to this reviewer in an interview during the weeks leading up to the tour: that he would reach beyond the records, incorporating everything he has learned in the decades since making them.

The night was made for it. Before a packed crowd of 1,700 under the tent at the sprawling former Westchester County estate on which Caramoor has fashioned its stage, the context for the evening was established when Ashley Kahn, author of The House That Trane Built, held a short question-and-answer session with Tyner, Steve Kuhn (who, like Tyner, played piano with John Coltrane) and David Liebman (a self-described Coltrane devotee who played with Miles Davis). For anyone who lived through the period, it took no effort to summon memories.

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