Several days ago, McCoy Tyner died at age 81. He was one of the greatest living jazz pianists at the time of his death, with perhaps only Keith Jarrett his serious rival, although others might beg to differ.
He was most famous for having been the pianist in John Coltane's "classic quartet," along with Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. Their most famous album was "A Love Supreme," one of the greatest jazz albums of them all. He also produced a prodigious body of excellent work after he left that group, and was active up until near his death. In later years he sometimes played with Coltrane's son, Ravi. He had known John Coltraane from when they were both young in Philadephia before they became jazz musicians.
I saw him perform several times over the years, although when I saw Coltrane, Tyner was no longer in the group. The last time I saw him was just a few years ago at the Blue Note in New York (he lived in New Jersey). He had to be helped to walk to the piano, which we were sitting very close to (and even spoke with him briefly) but once he started playing ne was all there, those strong pounding chords mixing with his fine lyricism. He was immensely influential, but there will be none like him.
RIP, McCoy Tyner.