I have enjoyed Chick Corea's work for a long time, and have seen him in concert on 3 occasions. One of the most enjoyable concerts was with vibist Gary Burton, with whom Corea has had a long association. One of their early duet albums, "Crystal Silence", still holds up well after 30 years. Many of Corea's solo albums are certainly worth checking out.
In 1968, Corea recorded "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs", which is a musical summation of his melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic approaches to jazz improvisation. The album has inspired many other pianists and certainly deserves a place in any collection of Corea's work.
In the early 1970's, Corea led a group called Return to Forever. He did two enjoyable recordings with this group: "Return to Forever", and "Light as a Feather".
If you are interested in hearing some of Corea's best work as a sideman, listen to the Stan Getz album, "Sweet Rain". It contains some very nice work by Corea.
Oddly enough, I just finished listening to an old copy of "My Spanish Heart", which is a very nice double solo album that he recorded in the mid 70's. In addition, one of my all time favorites of his is a quirky, fun album done about the same time called "The Leprechaun". A bit more playful and a little less mainstream than Spanish Heart, but thoroughly enjoyable.
If you haven't heard any of the Return to Forever albums, then its definitely worth sampling a few of them. The style is definitively mid seventies fusion, and might feel a bit dated if you're used to more modern compositions. However, the group itself is a collection of jazz giants (Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Al DiMeola, and Lenny White), and the work they produce displays a marvelous virtuosity that make them nearly as compelling today as they were 25 years ago. My favorite of the bunch is Romantic Warrior (which is actually less Chick Corea and more of the other members), but across the board theyre all great albums.
Chick Corea is a pianist and composer of such depth and talent, that you can't really go wrong with any of his recordings. His styles have changed over the years (for better or worse), but with each turn he presents such wonderful and imaginative melodies that its hard not to find something youll enjoy about most of them. You might spend some time rummaging through the song samples available at Amazon or CDNow and see if anything fits your tastes.
"Now He Sings, Now He Sobs" Beautiful. I love this recording.
Yes, the Romantic Warrior album by Return to Forever.
My "Jazzbuka" started from Chick Corea despite his name doesn't start from "A"!;)
The most brilliant album of his and I want to point that no one mentioned is "Mad Hatter" written as music tale for "Alice in Wonderland". Does anyone know this album? It is quite rare even nowdays. Hunt for this EXCELLENT EXCELLENT LP!
Check out the 2 double albums he did with Herbie Hancock in 1978 (one for each of their labels): "An Evening With" and "Corea/Hancock". Just 2 outstanding pianists riffing off of each other and having a fine old time.
Doh! I'd completely forgotten about Mad Hatter, and I have, and love this album. The disk is outstanding from start to finish, and sports an absolutely fantastic collection of musicians playing at their peak (Steve Gadd, Joe Farrell, Eddie Gomez, Herbie Hancock). Its sonically spectacular to boot, which seems to be the case with pretty much all of Chick Corea's solo works.
Sadly, its not available even on CD, but I'll venture to guess that its floating around used someplace. Hopefully, Polygram will recognize the value of this recording and bring it back into print.
"Mad Hatter" is my favorite Chick Corea's album.
I decided to drop in to the local Rasputins on the way to a meeting and, viola, TWO used copies of Mad Hatter, both of which I snapped up. Look forward to a cleaning (well I won't look forward to that), then a good session of listening this evening!!!!!!! I also found the Romantic Warrior which was stuck out of place among other records. Not a great copy but, for $1.98, good enough for a listen.
BTW, anyone else out there just HAVE to drop in a record store when you SHOULD be doing something else. Suppose that is a rhetorical question......
Kjg, "Mad Hatter" album is available on CD but it's probably out of print. If you have a turntable why bother? The vinyl is much better sonically. Also I recommend to research on works with Gary Burton. Some of them made on Concord jazz which is an A+ label.
Don't forget the original 1972 ECM album "Return to Forever", which is far less fusion-oriented. RTF evolved into the band's name with increasing emphasis toward fusion. I was fortunate to see Corea, Clarke, White, Farrell and DeMiola when they did their RTF tour in the 70's and bought (and still have!!) the box set of the live recording. Corea also sits in with DeMeola on a few of Al's records from the late 70's and into the 80's.
Also check out "Crystal Silence"- primarily a duet between Burton and Corea. Corea gets closer to his roots again a little later with "Akoustic Band".
Virtually all of Corea's stuff is wonderfully inventive and creative.
Thanks for the suggestions. Scott can ALWAYS be counted on for good choices and I will explore those of others, too.
Speaking of Gary Burton, I found his album "Throb" at a garage sale and it, too, is excellent. I understand it is hard to find, though.
From the Chick Corea website:
The tour you've been waiting for is finally coming to a town near you!
Chick reunites with John Patitucci (bass), Dave Weckl (drums), Eric Marienthal (sax), and Frank Gambale (guitar) for the first time in 10 years to present both original CCEB repertoire as well as new compositions Chick created for the later version of the band and now rendered by the original fab five genius musicians (Jimmy Earl joins on bass after October 19th).
Chick, John, Dave, Eric, Frank and Jimmy are pumped and totally excited about playing to their audiences once again. Since the group's creative beginnings each member of the band has gone on to win more and more musical territory with all of them now bringing their collective experience and creative energy back into focus around Chick's music and under his leadership. (The band's first onstage reunion at the Hollywood Bowl this August literally blew the roof off the place!)
But, hurry up -- tickets are selling REAL fast!
"CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND" REUNION TOUR
12 - Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
13 - 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
16 - Chick & John Only - New York City - with Roy Haynes
at Lincoln Center
17 - Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
19 - Clearwater Jazz Festival, Clearwater, FL
22 - Eleven 50 Theater, Atlanta, GA
23 - Carefree Theater, West Palm Beach, FL
24 - House of Blues, Orlando, FL
26 - Blue Note Club, New York, NY
27 - Blue Note Club, New York, NY
29 - Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
1 - Catalina's, Hollywood, CA
2 - Catalina's, Hollywood, CA
3 - Catalina's, Hollywood, CA
Last night I decided to listen to a few albums that I had not played in a long time, and ironically, my first selection was "Light as a Feather" which is one of my favorite Chick Corea albums. I particularly like the title track. "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs" is an outstanding album, and I would also recommend (like Dave Bachmann) the album "An Evening with Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock." Herbie Hancock is also one of my favorite artists of all time, and this is a great performance by two sensational pianists.
If you want a sampling of Chick Corea's varied styles, then check out the Verve compilation entitled "Chick Corea The Seventies." It is a mix of acoustic and electric tracks, and it includes selections from 10 different albums (most of which have been previously mentioned above). He performs with Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Joe Farrell, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Steve Gadd, and others on this album.
Many great Chick albums.....check out Three Quartets (1981 release) with Eddi Gomez, Michael Brecker and the one and only Steve Gadd. Some of Chick's newer releases are very good as well. Chick Corea New Trio / Past, Present, & Future......and Chick Corea and Friends / Rembering Bub Powell.
Bravo - good post
I agree with everyone
My Spanish Heart
The Mad Hatter
are my favorites too please keep the unknown albums coming
...then it went like a jazz-fusion plug over me when I started to research and holerically collect the solo works of Chick's members Al DiMeola, Steve Gadd, John Patitucci, Edie Gomez, Dave Weckl that somehow started to spread onto John Scofield, Mike Stern, John Abercrombie and advanced to ECM level along with various avant-grade performers of different countries mostly from Europe.
I appreciate to you Chick, and always enjoy claping my hands during your excellent live performances!
"Like Minds" Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny etc...