Adeli’s Music Blog

Chick Corea and John McLaughlin: Five Peace Band Live

Posted in music by adeli on June 5, 2009

The legends Chick Corea and John McLaughlin have reunited! Forty years after their sessions with Miles Davis, they’ve assembled a stellar jazz quintet. Corea and McLaughlin met in 1969 and the first song they played together was Davis’ “In A Silent Way.” They also appeared together on the Davis’ groundbreaking jazz/funk album Bitches Brew.

Corea and McLaughlin are virtuosos on the piano/keyboards and the guitar respectively, and have led successful and prolific solo careers that helped shape jazz. Their double-album Five Peace Band Live captures their new quintet on the first leg of its European tour. Joining Corea and McLaughlin are Christian McBride on bass, Kenny Garrett on alto sax, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.

The album contains complex acoustic jazz, burning jazzy funk, some Corea and McLaughlin solo career classics, and a nice tribute to Miles Davis, who brought Corea and McLaughlin together in the first place. The set begins with McLaughlin’s fiery “Raju,” with Garrett’s sax blowing the tune to new heights and Corea giving it some additional harmony. Corea’s “Hymn to Andromeda” runs almost 28 minutes and begins with him on the piano. McBride delivers a moving bass solo as then the rest of the group joins in, with Garrett delivering another set highlight. “New Bruise, Old Blues,” another McLaughlin original, is the funkiest tune on this album; Corea adds his most instinctive moves on the synthesizer. “Senor C.S.” has been reworked as a high-speed samba that begins with a Corea/McLaughlin duet that demonstrates the friendly bond that makes this pairing so special. Again, Garrett and his horn steal some moments from the duo.

Five Peace Band Live closes with a tribute to Miles Davis, reworking “In a Silent Way/It’s About That Time,” with Herbie Hancock accompanying them on the piano. Corea and McLaughlin close the show with “Someday My Prince Will Come, which Miles made famous.”

Five Peace Band Live is an exceptional opportunity to hear two masters create something which points to their individual accomplishments as well as creating something with a new personality. This musical pairing is a very important collaboration for today’s jazz world.

Chick Corea & Hiromi: Duet CD review

Posted in music by adeli on April 22, 2009

Grammy-award winning veteran pianist Chick Corea teams up with the up-and-coming Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi Uehera on the two-disc Duet. With three generations between them, Corea and Uehera may seem like an odd pairing, but they play off each other like two friends who learned their instrument from the same teacher at the same time. They are totally in sync with each other. Corea seems as youthful and energetic as the 30-year-old Hiromi, while she performs with talent beyond her years

Duet documents the two pianists’ three nights of live duet performances at the Blue Note Tokyo. The selections chosen for this set are varied; covers of Bill Evans, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Lennon- McCartney, and Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions to original compositions from the two pianists.

The first CD includes an original by each pianist as well as four covers. Monk’s “Bolivar Blues” and Lennon-McCartney’s “Fool On The Hill” attract attention on Disc One. The second disc contains four originals, two a piece. Gershwin’s “Summertime” is included on this disc, and the closer is a lovely melding of Joaquin Vidre Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with Corea’s “Spain.”

Duet is masterful. It’s a great combination of two extraordinary pianists from different generations and cultures who, with the ivories, communicate with each other passionately and quite effectively.

Here they are performing “Summertime”