Musings on the byways of popular culture
11/02/2021 by Moose the Mooche 21 Comments
If anybody deserves a memorial thread…
Moose the Mooche says
11/02/2021 at 22:16
…this guy does.
11/02/2021 at 22:34
From the recently-mentioned “In The Studio” podcast series from the BBC World Service.
Chick Corea: Accomplishing the Goal of Art
Is it possible to merge my CC Obit. thread into this one? The Moose and I seem to have posted pretty much simultaneously.
Mod Team says
12/02/2021 at 11:08
Sadly not, but if you re-post your comment here, we’ll remove the one you started
12/02/2021 at 14:27
I was never a great fan of Return To Forever in their pomp (possibly because of Romantic Warrior, which was rather overblown IMO) but he made some amazing music in his other projects and with Miles Davis. He will be missed.
From his recent Facebook feed:
“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright.
It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun”.
11/02/2021 at 22:55
In addition to all his other achievements, CC found time to compose and record an album of children’s songs, which was a favourite in our house. Here he is talking about it – lovely music, lovely, great man.
11/02/2021 at 23:53
So much great music and I am still a great fan of pretty much all of it, like his 1970s collaborations with Gary Burton for ECM, including Crystal Silence. I saw him in concert many times, including The Elektrik Band in London in the 1980s, the expanded Akoustic Band in New York in 1992 and with John McLaughlin in the Five Peace Band in New Zealand more recently. The Mrs and I saw him in Hawaii one time, when he had a week’s residency at the Blue Note, which was conveniently situated three doors down from our hotel. As a great advocate of Bill Evans, on these shows Chick was showcasing some unrecorded Bill Evans tunes that Evans’ son (called Evan) had passed to him.
In 2011, I caught one of the shows in his 70th birthday season at the Blue Note in New York. This one featured John McLaughlin and an appearance by Gail Moran, Chick’s wife, who had been a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the 1970s. They played Smile of the Beyond, from the MO album ‘Apocalypse’ with Gail singing and the drummer Brian Blade whipping up a storm in the concluding passage of the tune. Wish I had a clip of that one, it was astonishing.
Thanks for the music Chick. RIP
Junior Wells says
12/02/2021 at 10:13
Excellent tribute Nick.
11/02/2021 at 23:57
The Crystal Silence, with fabbo vibes man Gary Burton is where I revere him. And it’s reprise, many years later.
12/02/2021 at 00:01
Very sorry to see this. I was a big RtF fan, especially the LP with Bill Connors on guitar and (it goes without saying) the electric Miles band.
Also his Remembering Bud Powell band…
12/02/2021 at 06:34
I have to say Chick Corea was not my favourite piano/keyboard player ever (that accolade goes to, in no particular order, Thelonious Monk, Nicky Hopkins, James Booker, Dr John and a few others) but I do have a few Top Chick moments…
1. When I lived in London in 1973-74 I noticed on the Virgin album charts (which typically took up a whole page of tiny type in the NME) that the No 1 album in the jazz chart was “Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy” by Return To Forever. I knew nothing about them but I’d just got paid and they were “in town” so I went along. Fuck me. Loud, virtuoso playing, kind of funky, very complex, I’d never heard anything like it. My 19 year old curious mind was intrigued. I bought the album.
2. Back in NZ a few years later I somehow encountered the first album he did with Gary Burton “Crystal Silence”. It got played over and over again, mainly by my flatmates in my first share house, so has vivid and lovely memories for me. A few years ago Chick and Gary came to Sydney and played a concert at the Sydney Opera House. It was amazing. Their connection, empathy, call it what you will is extraordinary. I speak as a piano player who occasionally plays with a vibes player who shares my musical vision. But Chick and Gary were on a higher musical plane altogether. Very special.
3. The Children’s Songs – as mentioned above. Sublime.
4. And he’s on “In A Silent Way” which I also discovered back in those exploratory 70s days/daze
Arthur Cowslip says
12/02/2021 at 08:42
I only really know him from In A Silent Way, but I’m sure I’ve heard more of his stuff over the years on various compilations and things. RIP.
12/02/2021 at 09:28
Not ever a big fan of fusion, with, in AW style, only a dozen or so records in that style but his gentler piano play was extraordinary. New Crystal Silence and Native Sense: both astonishing pieces of empathetic duo play, where he and Gary Burton, on vibes, are surely telepathic.
12/02/2021 at 11:33
His playing in the fusion context was also extraordinary – accepting, of course, that it isn’t your cup of electric soup…
rotherhithe hack says
12/02/2021 at 13:16
I was never a massive fan of the fusion stuff, but about three years ago came across his more mainstream jazz trio. Picked up both of their live albums, the first of which is excellent.
14/02/2021 at 09:03
Every time I skim down past the OP I am reminded the debt Freddie Mercury owed to Chick.
14/02/2021 at 11:27
I saw this in updates and for a hopeful moment thought you meant Chick* Murray.
(*sick… sorry, sic)
Vulpes Vulpes says
28/02/2021 at 19:27
Nice one page appreciation of the man from Kate Mossman in the current issue of New Statesman.
Hopefully (IP dependant?) you can read it here:
04/03/2021 at 23:27
Very nice article by Kate…
Also interesting to read her views on fusion and the disproportionate distain heaped upon it as a genre…and, true enough: nearly every contributor to the thread above made the point that they didn’t like fusion, or didn’t like Return to Forever…
05/03/2021 at 00:04
I’m a fan however, it’s not something I will just haul out one record. It needs to be a solid session – not something that fills Mrs Wells with any joy.
05/03/2021 at 00:12
I know what you mean…when you’re in that frame of mind, nothing else seems to scratch that particular itch…
I take your point regarding Mrs Wells – my late missus threatened my leaving via the window, followed by my jazz, fusion and prog LPs, on more than one occasion…
05/03/2021 at 07:16
Yes, a really good piece by Ms Mossman. This sentence struck a chord with me…
“But it’s impossible to describe what he was doing tonally unless you’re in a position to play that way yourself – which is one of the things that keeps jazz out of the realm of regular music criticism. How many of us really understand what they’re doing up there?”
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