Categories
Did you know? Jazz & Blues Music Musical Analysis

McCOY TYNER’S STYLE: A Jazz review with sheet music (2/2)

image_pdf
Table of Contents

    Search Posts by Categories:

    and subscribe to our social channels for news and music updates:

    McCOY TYNER’S STYLE: A Jazz review with sheet music (2/2)

    ”IMPRESSIONS”

    In the case of the John Coltrane tune ”Impressions”, the connection of McCoy Tyner’s voicings to those played by Bill Evans is obvious, since the harmonic framework is derived from ”So What”.

    The quartet played the tune from the very beginning, as it was in the book already prior to Tyner joining the group. According to the liner notes by Ashley Kahn to the recently released John Coltrane session Both Directions at Once, Coltrane labeled the tape box of the 1963 recording of ”Impressions” still as ”So What”.

    Here is the first A section of ”Impressions” as recorded live at the Village Vanguard on November 2, 1961.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    There is some room for interpretation on whether the A sections of ”Impressions” are actually based on the D Dorian or G Mixolydian mode.

    Both The New Real Book Volume Two by Chuck Sher and Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long Volume 28 list the scales/chords of the tune as Dmi7 and Ebmi7 (B section).

    The melody does emphasize the note d as the tonic, and it also ends by outlining a D minor triad. But Jimmy Garrison on bass clearly states g as the tonic. And ultimately, it is the bass that defines the difference between D Dorian and G Mixolydian. So, it would have to be the Mixolydian if I had to pick just one. Moreover, the lead melody of McCoy Tyner’s voicings essentially implies Dmi7 to G7 movement. So all in all, putting the melody and the bass and the harmony together, one could say that the A sections of “Impressions” are about both D Dorian and G Mixolydian at the same time.

    Here is the second chorus of McCoy Tyner’s solo on ”Impressions”, recorded live at the Village Vanguard on November 1, 1961.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription
    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Tyner’s melodic lines on ”Impressions” imply II-V movement back and forth (Dmi7-G7) so frequently that instead of labeling every single implication, I decided to label those as unified II-V areas. Sometimes Tyner
    starts from the V chord and ends on the II chord, sometimes the opposite, but I have marked only II-V either way. Because of the clear emphasis on the chord tones of the II-V and chromatic approach notes leading to these chord tones, as well as absence of scale sequences for the most part, it is more accurate to interpret these as chordal movements rather than just Dorian or Mixolydian scales. This is an example of how I hear the exact movements between Dmi7 and G7:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Here is another example from the third solo chorus:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Tyner’s melodic lines for the B sections clearly imply Ebmi7-Ab7 movements. Here is a line from the second chorus:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Over an Ab7 background, the line sounds like it starts on the third of the Ab7 chord and uses the note g as a chromatic approach to g-flat, then implying Ebmi7 chord.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    But there is also another melodic implication in this movement, which is a whole step movement of minor seventh chords. There will be more examples of McCoy Tyner developing his lines into this direction later
    this chapter in the analysis of ”Brasilia”.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    The melodic lines on “Impressions” are actually constructed quite similarly to those on “Like Sonny” from 1960 (see page 47). Tyner can even be observed using the exact same melodic idea in both of the following
    excerpts, implying movement from C7 to Fmi7. Compare this example from Tyner’s solo on ”Like Sonny”:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    to the beginning of the previous example from “Impressions”:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    However, there is a clear difference in Tyner’s left-hand voicings in comparison with “Like Sonny”. During the A sections of “Impressions”, he doesn’t seem to imply Dmi7 chord at all in his left hand, even though
    the melodic lines clearly outline Dmi7-G7 motion.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Tyner retains the closed position voicing for G9 on “Impressions”, but instead of the functionally inclined Dmi7 to go with it, he introduces two quartal voicings that represent scale-based G Mixolydian tonic. These
    are exactly the same voicings Tyner used in accompanying the melody of ”Liberia” in October 1960. Now, they just have moved from the right hand to the left hand.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Additionally, Tyner uses a G major triad as a bridge between the two different voicings types: G9 (closed position) and G13 (fourths with scale movement). It seems to me that at this point, Tyner uses the two voicing types as two clearly distinct elements, with scale movement underlining the modal character of the A sections. For the B sections, on the other hand, Tyner frequently brings out Ebmi7 to Ab9 movement with both hands.

    This highlights the B section as being somewhat more functional in nature, harmonically acting as a tritone substitute dominant towards the modal tonic of the A sections. In some cases, going back to the closed position voicings also seems to have to do with the range of the right-hand melodies.

    When the line descends to the area of the quartal voicing, the left hand goes out of the way to the more compact voicing. For Tyner, the space between the intervals in the left-hand voicing seems to make a very important difference, and it does create a substantially different sound. Concurrently with the appearance of voicings built on fourths, Tyner’s right-hand melodies begin to move more freely and also suggest non-functional chord movements.

    During his solo on ”Impressions”, Tyner evidently implies parallel movement from G7 to A7 and even to B7 in his melodic lines. The lines for B7 are not completely explicit, but that seems likely to be the source of the movement, considering the fact that Tyner’s composition ”Effendi” from the album Inception (recorded on January 10, 1962) explores the movement from Dmi7–G7 to F#mi7-B7.

    Here are the first 16 bars of the third solo chorus on “Impressions” from the November 1, 1961 recording from the Village Vanguard:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription
    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    Next is an example from the fifth and last solo chorus in which Tyner utilizes the extensions of Dmi11 and Emi11 chords. This sound resembles his accompaniment to ”My Favorite Things”.

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    In addition to Ebmi7-Ab7 and Ebmi7-Fmi7 during the B sections, Tyner also implies F#mi7-B7 to Emi7-A7 movements.159 Here is an example from the fourth solo chorus:

    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription
    McCOY TYNER jazz sheet music transcription

    John Coltrane Quartet – Impressions

    Personnel:

    McCoy Tyner ,Piano
    Jimmy Garrison ,Bass
    Elvin Jones, Drums

    Search Posts by Categories:

    and subscribe to our social channels for news and music updates:

    close
    sheet music library

    It’s nice to meet you.

    Sign up to receive our new posts in your inbox.

    We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

    Google Translator