McCoy is one of the last living old timers, between him and Sonny Rollins, they represent some of the last living links back to the early days of bop all that jazz has been through since then. The list of people McCoy has played with is like a history book of jazz - Coltrane, Brecker, Jones, Garrison, Henderson, Dorham, Blakey ... the list has all of 'em. How many albums has he been on? 100? 500? A heck of a lot. He even had Derek Trucks play on his last album, so he is just about making music of any kind, even now in his 70's.
I have been listening to Inception, McCoy's debut album as a leader, every day since I found it. He plays so many cool things on each tune every time through there is something new and awesome lurking around in there.
Case in point - the song "Blues For Gwen". It's just a blues right, every jazz album has one. What's the big deal. Well, check out the entire chorus below which is basically one crazy long complete phrase ridiculoso that McCoy just kinda rattles off like it was nothing as the eighth chorus he takes (at about 2:03). .
McCoy playing it at tempo (about 225 ish)
McCoy Speed for Bass
bass lick 4/4 swing 70 tempo 230 | Bb7 ab+ f g ab g e f g | ab f gb ab f db eb f | eb c d eb d bb a g | db+ b~ b db (a b) gb ab a | Eb7 ab+ f g ab g eb d c | db f db4 eb8 d db4 | Bb7 r8 d f c+ a bb [d- f g] | f gb a gb f eb db b | Cmin7 gb+ b bb gb e bb+ a g | F7 f e eb g d c f eb | Bb7 d bb g f bb4 bb4 | Bb7 r1 |
Half Speed For Bass
bass lick 4/4 swing 50 tempo 112 | Bb7 ab+ f g ab g e f g | ab f gb ab f db eb f | eb c d eb d bb a g | db+ b~ b db (a b) gb ab a | Eb7 ab+ f g ab g eb d c | db f db4 eb8 d db4 | Bb7 r8 d f c+ a bb [d- f g] | f gb a gb f eb db b | Cmin7 gb+ b bb gb e bb+ a g | F7 f e eb g d c f eb | Bb7 d bb g f bb4 bb4 | Bb7 r1 |
You bust out a phrase like this on your next solo and watch the props you get. Wow.
You think it is gonna end, but it doesnt end, it just keeps going and then at the end it just parks itself with a "how do you like them apples, huh?" finality to it. A whole chorus as one phrase takes some big ears.