Arranger, concertmaster, conductor, violinist and violist whose early credits include Ornette Coleman’s Town Hall, 1962, Ken McIntyre’s ‘Way, ‘Way Out, and Orchestra U.S.A.’s Debut.
In 1964, he premiered Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s “Viola Concerto” with the Orchestra of America, a piece dedicated to him by the composer, who conducted. He was also a member of The National Orchestra Association and the New York City Ballet.
He worked on numerous albums throughout the late ‘60s, including: Balaklava by Pearls Before Swine; The Blue Yusef Lateef; Comment and Much Les by Les McCann; First Take by Roberta Flack; Heat! by Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers; I’ll Be Anything for You by Tamiko Jones; The Many Facets of David Newman; One for One by Andrew Hill; The Rise & Fall of the Third Stream by Joe Zawinul; and, Say it Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown.
In 1970, he appeared on a pair of Louis Armstrong albums, Louis Armstrong and His Friends and What a Wonderful World, Andy Bey’s Experience and Judgment, Roberta Flack’s Chapter Two, Freddie Hubbard’s Sing Me a Song of Songmy, Yusef Lateef’s The Diverse Yusef Lateef and Suite 16, Herbie Mann’s Stone Flute, and Jimmy Scott’s The Source.
Other records on which he performed in the early ‘70s include: The Divine Miss M by Bette Midler; Edgar Winter’s White Trash; Hermeto by Hermeto Pascoal; He’s Coming by Roy Ayers Ubiquity; Prepare Thyself to Deal with a Miracle by Rahsaan Roland Kirk; Soul is… Pretty Purdie by Bernard “Pretty” Purdie; and, Wild Flower by Hubert Laws.
In 1974, he featured on Deodato’s Whirlwinds, Felix Cavaliere, Janis Ian’s Stars, Don McLean’s Homeless Brother, and Only the Best of Les McCann. Other credits from the mid-‘70s: African Symphony, Disco Baby, From Disco to Love, and Rhythms of the World by Van McCoy; The Choice 4; Concerto Retitled by Joe Zawinul; Everything’s Coming Up Love by David Ruffin; Faith, Hope & Charity; First Cuckoo by Deodato; Fly With the Wind by McCoy Tyner; Jaco Pastorius; and, Melba by Melba Moore.
In 1977, he played on American Heartbeat by Martha Velez, La Catedral El Toro by Joe Farrell, Double Time by Leon Redbone, Peaches & Herb, La Raza Latina: Salsa Suite by Orchestra Harlow, The Mysterious Flying Orchestra, and Van McCoy and His Magnificent Movie Machine. He ended the ‘70s on albums such as Champagne Charlie by Leon Redbone, Counterpoint by Ralph MacDonald, Gwen McRae, Keep on Jumpin’ by Musique, Knights of Fantasy by Deodato, My Favourite Fantasy by Van McCoy, and Z-licious by Zulema.
These appear to be his last original recordings, although the CD era is populated with re-issues and re-masterings bearing his name, including Does Your House Have Lions: The Rahsaan Roland Kirk Anthology, Legends of Acid Jazz: The Best of Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers, and Untinted (Sources for Madlib’s Shades of Blue).
Van McCoy recordings
The Shuffle (Van McCoy)
That’s the Joint (Van McCoy)
He performs viola here on McCoy Turner’s “Fly With the Wind”…..