We had a big jazz festival thing here last weekend. While not as exciting as Nerdfest, it had its moments. Plus, it was just nice to have food for sale out on the streets and to see people walking around Jacksonville’s usually deserted downtown.Seriously, walk around downtown on a weekend and you'll think you're the last person on Earth.
Even though I had to work, I managed to catch about 30 minutes of McCoy Tyner’s set. Tyner was about the only person I really didn’t want to miss, and from what I saw (only about 3 songs), he’s still in fine form.
Tyner played piano with John Coltrane from 1960 til 1965, meaning he played from "My Favorite Things" all the way up through “A Love Supreme,” leaving when Coltrane got too out there. According to the press release sent out by the festival, Tyner started his stint with Coltrane when he was 17 years old. 17. *Could you imagine that?
When I was 17 my only talent was the ability to fix the TV to get in the Playboy channel after my parents had gone to sleep and the ability to be a self-absorbed, creepy asshole.
That started me thinking about how I would have behaved, had I been in a world famous band that strove to challenge musical boundaries back when I was 17 (presuming I had somehow been granted musical ability by a radioactive spider bite or something).
I would imagine lots of blown off practices. Also, if you were to listen to the in studio excerpts from the box set, they'd sound like this:
"God, get off my back, I'll practice when I can, OK, Mr. Music Nazi!":
"I know we've got a show next weekend, but I already promised my friends we'd drive up to Tampa."
"I hate it here, and I hate your stupid band."
"Pfft. Yeah, that's real cool."
Luckily, not all people were as terrible as I was in my youth, and music was allowed to progress and flourish, all by keeping me far, far away from it.
*A quick jaunt over to Wikipedia and some basic arithmetic reveals that Tyner was actually in his early 20s when he joined Coltrane’s band, but the major point, that I was a terrible teenager still remains a matter of public record.