The Wine Cyclist

A Night of Jazz in Seattle

by on Sep.19, 2009, under Music

I must say, it was an excellent evening and a perfect way to wrap up my stay here in Seattle. Tonight I moseyed with some friends over to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley for a delicious dinner and a jazz-filled evening. On the stage tonight was the McCoy Tyner Trio.

I had a hard time finding a video of just the trio by itself, but this video of the McCoy Tyner Trio appearing with Bill Frisell on guitar and Gary Bartz on alto saxophone is pretty good. At about the 2:50 mark you get almost two minutes of only the trio, so you can get a nice feel as to how well McCoy Tyner plays with Gerald Cannon on bass and Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums without anything else going on (not that I mean to dismiss the excellent performances of Bill Frisell and Gary Bartz in this piece).

McCoy Tyner is an incredible jazz pianist with an amazing career spanning over fifty years. He performed for several years around his home town of Philadelphia until John Coltrane broke away from Miles Davis’ group to form his own quartet in 1960, asking Tyner to join the new group. Since his time with the Coltrane quartet, Tyner has blazed an impressive career of performing with many of the top names in jazz, and his own name has duly earned its place at the top of the list as well.

The trio was in fine form tonight. So impressed were we that we stuck around for the second performance. It was well worth it. The dinner was excellent. The atmosphere was just right. The music was outstanding. There were incredible solos all around including stretches of lighting-fast percussion from drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt and funky rhythms from bassist Gerald Cannon. Truly amazing solos were interspersed between a mix of classics (Duke Ellington’s “In A Mellow Tone”) and newer works (Tyner’s “Suddenly”) to come together in an awe inspiring show. The only disappointment was that I could hear them whispering about the possibility of playing Mr PC, one of my favorite Coltrane tunes, but sadly, they decided not to. It’s but a minor disappointment, however. Aside from that, I’ve no other complaints.

The evening started off with some lovely appetizers, and the following for dinner (try not to drool on your keyboard):

Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut topped with cilantro pesto and served with Penn Cove Mussels, chorizo, leeks and potatoes in a white wine coriander broth.

It was everything it sounds like it was. A nice bottle of Bishop Creek Cellars pinot noir (Yamhill-Carlton District, OR) rounded out the meal and set the mood for the music to begin. And from that point on I was tapping my toes the rest of the evening.

As I said, I could not have asked for a better way to end my stay in Seattle. Tomorrow I head out, making my way to the Olympic Peninsula so that I can get back to some backpacking and enjoy some more wild terrain. I plan to make my way down the coast of Washington and Oregon over the next few weeks and possibly spend some time in the Willamette Valley as well before heading back into Portland. The updates may be sparse until I make it into Portland, but I’ll keep you all updated when I can.

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1 comment for this entry:
  1. Howard Mandel

    I like yr posting, but didn’t realize from yr #jazzlives post that it was about LIVE JAZZ, as it is — may I suggest your message might be more effective if you can say “Heard McCoy Tyner w/ Bartz & Frisell in Seattle at full report at [url] #jazzlives” or something like that?

    The value of the #jazzlives hashtag campaign is if it can be kept relatively free of off-message tweets, the simple message is WHO you heard and WHERE and number-sign jazzlives. If musicians especially are willing to announce to their audiences at sets end ‘If you liked us, tweet #jazzlives about us and where we are” that gets out buzz about the music AND gives us more numbers of audience participants.

    thanks for your support and participation — best, Howard Mandel (you don’t have to publish this, it was the first way I found to send you a message. I like biking (around Brooklyn) and Oregon pinot noirs (seldom at the same time).

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