“I went to the school of McCoy Tyner. I graduated from his university,” said Gary Bartz, reflecting on the celebrated pianist onstage at the SFJAZZ center Thursday night. “I miss him, but I don’t miss him, because he’s still with me.”
Later, in a searching, quick-paced solo on the composition “Hope,” Bartz, who first joined Tyner's group in 1968, showed the strength of his diploma. Bartz also proved that, at 82, age hasn’t slowed his imagination.
“Imagination” is a good starting point for both the music of McCoy Tyner, celebrated onstage Thursday night, and the SFJAZZ Center, which marks its 10-year anniversary this weekend. Performers over the next three days include Stanley Clarke, Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Mary Stallings, Miguel Zenon, Terri Lyne Carrington and more.