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ghost of miles

RIP Chick Corea

190 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Mark Stryker said:

That original band definitely toured starting in late 1972. It played Baker's Keyboard Lounge in August 1972. The previous October in fall 1971, Chick appeared in Detroit at the Strata Concert Gallery for three nights with Stanley Clarke and Horacee Arnold. I dug up a flier for that gig in an archive while doing research on Strata for my book. I showed it to Chick and flipped out. He said that gig and that trio was essentially ground zero for what became Return to Forever. The revamped line-up with Clarke, Airto etc. played at LIvingston College in New Brunswick NJ in December, according to a newpaper clip I found. The band debuted at the Village Vanguard around the same time because in the Feb. 3 issue of Downbeat there's a review Here it is. (Note that accompanying review shows that Cecil Taylor just played in Detroit -- sorry I wasn't there, even if I would have been just 9 years old.) 

chick 72 small.jpg

The Captain Marvel band played the London House in Chicago at about that time. The room pretty much levitated. 

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So Captain Marvel band was the first, right, and then RTF? Seems that's what I remember?

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19 minutes ago, JSngry said:

So Captain Marvel band was the first, right, and then RTF? Seems that's what I remember?

Chick Corea supplied liner notes to the Legacy reissue of Captain Marvel in which he says the RTF had already formed but wasn't getting many gigs so when he heard Getz needed a band for a tour he called him and suggested the RTF members plus Tony Williams.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

The Captain Marvel band played the London House in Chicago at about that time. The room pretty much levitated. 

That gig was apparently the Captain Marvel band's third gig. February 9, 1972. Not the Tribune's finest work. Where was Harriet? 

getz.jpg

Edited by Mark Stryker

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A couple thoughts and a question:

1 - My wife and I had just done a Chick Corea video night on Saturday, watching the 1972 Getz Captain Marvel Montreux Concert (incredible, don't miss it), and some selections from Corea trio with Clarke/White and Corea/Burton at Montreux.

2 - I got to see him live three times.  the DiMeola/Clarke/White RTF at Philly Playhouse in the Park ca 1976, the Corea/Hancock duo at the Tower Theatre ca. 1978, and a group with Gayle Moran and forgotten others at some club in South Philly in the early 80's (very stressful period of life for me, and I remember very little about that show).

3 - Why did Columbia sit on the Getz "Captain Marvel" album for like three years before releasing it?  It is my favorite Getz album of all.  I realize that Corea/Clarke/Airto were bigger names by 1975 than they were in 1972, but still, the album was so great, and should have done plenty well enough.  Was there something contractual going on?  Also, what was the deal with the RTF recordings being on Columbia starting around 1976 (with the great "Romantic Warrior"), but the Corea solo albums staying on Polydor?  Was that related to the Getz album delay?

Edited by felser

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1 hour ago, Mark Stryker said:

That gig was apparently the Captain Marvel band's third gig. February 9, 1972. Not the Tribune's finest work. Where was Harriet? 

getz.jpg

Will Leonard's gig was "Night Life." He was not a jazz person. Harriet did not IIRC  typically review club engagements; she had a weekly jazz column  "Jazz By Choice" and would mention things there in a judicious roundup manner. Why I didn't review this engagement I have no idea. I regularly reviewed lots of other jazz events at that time, and I did go to see this band at the London House as a paying customer.

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I remember reading an interview in DB where Getz said he was sick of CC and his "space monkeys". He used Lou Levy and Kenny Barron after that, among others.

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Rip Chick Corea. Glad to have seen him live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

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19 hours ago, Daniel A said:

I have a live 1972 audio recording from Stockholm (though without Flora). 

That could be good, but with Flora would be BETTER ;)

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Absolutely stunning player who is on some of the best and most bizarre records in my collection.

The secret of the diversity of his career is - I feel - in his early stuff - the Vortex and Blue Notes. Corea is one of the rare examples (Tony Williams may be another) of a player who entered the scene as a fully formed player. Technique, but also his grasp of genre - any genre - was never an issue.  As a result his recorded output does not document the gradual and painful perfecting of a craft, but the endless curiosity of a seeking mind. 

Unfortunately I only got to see him perform his music live once: somewhere in mid nineties - supporting his Time Warp-album - with Bob Berg, John Patitucci and Gary Novak. I remember he never looked at the keyboard once - he just soared. It was fantastic.

RIP

Edited by Mark13

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5 minutes ago, Mark13 said:

The secret of the diversity of career is I feel in his early stuff - the Vortex and Blue Notes. Corea is one of the rare examples (Tony Williams may be another) of a player who entered the scene as a fully formed player. Technique, but also his grasp of genre - any genre - was never an issue.  As a result his recorded output does not document the gradual and painful perfecting of a craft, but the endless curiosity of a seeking mind. 

This rings so true with me and is what I'm thinking when I hear derogatory comments regarding Corea's "missteps" or "lack of direction" in relation to later albums. He was a brilliant player with a great, creative mind. 

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The Vortex and Solid State albums are the ones I always go to - plus The sessions with Blue Mitchell. The Blue Note twofer ‘Circulus’ is great too. Plus his fantastic work on ‘Sweet Rain’.

Will be spinning some of his vinyl today in tribute.

Edited by sidewinder

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The greatest living jazz musician of today has died. Think about this - there's no-one else who started playing and recording in the 1960s and is still alive today, and can compare his bona fides with Chick. He knew and heard the people who were there in the 1920s, 100 years ago. He hung and played with the best musicians and the greatest creators who played in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s. In the 1970s he employed (and in instances created careers of) musicians that are considered the masters today. With him leaves irreplaceable evidence of what was essential about this music, creativity and originality. 

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Here's a man who passed away at age 79 and I would argue that the work of his final two (2) decades was as strong as anything in his career.  It's amazing in size, diversity, and quality.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Mark13 said:

Absolutely stunning player who is on some of the best and most bizarre records in my collection.

The secret of the diversity of career is - I feel - in his early stuff - the Vortex and Blue Notes. Corea is one of the rare examples (Tony Williams may be another) of a player who entered the scene as a fully formed player. Technique, but also his grasp of genre - any genre - was never an issue.  As a result his recorded output does not document the gradual and painful perfecting of a craft, but the endless curiosity of a seeking mind. 

Unfortunately I only got to see him perform his music live once: somewhere in mid nineties - supporting his Time Warp-album - with Bob Berg, John Pattitucci and Gary Novak. I remember he never looked at the keyboard once - he just soared. It was fantastic.

RIP

Disagree: I don't think it's at all true that Chick entered the scene as a fully formed player. Perhaps that's a chimera created by his first records as a leader in 1966 and '68.

But Chick came to New York at age 18 in the fall of 1959. His first record dates (Santamaria & Bobo) were not until three years later, and if you listen to Chick on "Stitt Goes Latin" -- try the "Amigos" linked below -- from 11/63 (four years after arriving in NY) he's still a LONG way from being fully formed. There's still undigested Bud in here and his time feel is way behind the beat, whereas mature Chick is much more on top of the time. He starts recording more in 1964 and certainly by July of that year when he records "Chick's Tune" with Blue Mitchell, he's well on his way to being himself -- that quick flick of the wrist and rhythmic stutter at the start of the piano solo is unmistakably Chick. But even on the shuffle blues "March on Selma" with Mitchell a year later in July '65, the piano comping and soloing sounds like it's part McCoy and part Herbie in their down home modes.

The big leap forward to me judging by the records is between 1965 and '66, because by the time you get to his debut as a leader, "Tones For Joan's Bones" in Nov '66, what you're hearing is Chick Corea as we know him. But that record is a full 7 (!) years after coming to NY. Contrast that with Tony Williams, who really did sound fully formed at age 17, when he made his first records in the winter and spring of 1963 with Jackie McLean, K.D., Herbie, and Miles. Or Joe Henderson who is already fully formed on first recorded appearance on K.D.s "Una Mas." (The track "Straight Ahead" is already peak Joe.)

It is true that "Tones For Joan's Bones" is an astonishing debut record, even in an era of remarkable debuts, and the one-two punch of "Tones" plus his sophomore record "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs," might be unequaled in terms of the  authority, vision, and maturity of  the first two records as a leader out of the gate in the LP era.. (I'd be curious to hear who folks feel would also be on this particular short list of the first two records as a leader.) 

 

 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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52 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

 (I'd be curious to hear who folks feel would also be on this particular short list of the first two records as a leader.) 

 

Agree generally with your point, those two Corea albums are astonishing (as are the "Tones" outtakes revealed on "Inner Space").  Here's an addition to the list

Billy Harper - "Capra Black" and "Black Saint"  (I don't count "Jon and Billy")

No one else immediately comes to mind for nailing it on both their first and their second album.

 

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1 hour ago, Mark Stryker said:

Disagree: I don't think it's at all true that Chick entered the scene as a fully formed player. Perhaps that's a chimera created by his first records as a leader in 1966 and '68.

But Chick came to New York at age 18 in the fall of 1959. His first record dates (Santamaria & Bobo) were not until three years later, and if you listen to Chick on "Stitt Goes Latin" -- try the "Amigos" linked below -- from 11/63 (four years after arriving in NY) he's still a LONG way from being fully formed. There's still undigested Bud in here and his time feel is way behind the beat, whereas mature Chick is much more on top of the time. He starts recording more in 1964 and certainly by July of that year when he records "Chick's Tune" with Blue Mitchell, he's well on his way to being himself -- that quick flick of the wrist and rhythmic stutter at the start of the piano solo is unmistakably Chick. But even on the shuffle blues "March on Selma" with Mitchell a year later in July '65, the piano comping and soloing sounds like it's part McCoy and part Herbie in their down home modes.

The big leap forward to me judging by the records is between 1965 and '66, because by the time you get to his debut as a leader, "Tones For Joan's Bones" in Nov '66, what you're hearing is Chick Corea as we know him. But that record is a full 7 (!) years after coming to NY. Contrast that with Tony Williams, who really did sound fully formed at age 17, when he made his first records in the winter and spring of 1963 with Jackie McLean, K.D., Herbie, and Miles. Or Joe Henderson who is already fully formed on first recorded appearance on K.D.s "Una Mas." (The track "Straight Ahead" is already peak Joe.)

It is true that "Tones For Joan's Bones" is an astonishing debut record, even in an era of remarkable debuts, and the one-two punch of "Tones" plus his sophomore record "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs," might be unequaled in terms of the  authority, vision, and maturity of  the first two records as a leader out of the gate in the LP era.. (I'd be curious to hear who folks feel would also be on this particular short list of the first two records as a leader.) 

 

 

whatever the argument is here, it's fascinating to me that when I listen to two particular pianists whose careers veered all over the place - Kieth Jarrett and now Corea - I find their earliest work the best. It's as though they could hear and play too much, and in their early days they just did what they felt without getting so self conscious about it. But this Corea solo is extraordinary - actually reminds me of late '40s Hank Jones. And I am not a big Corea fan.

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3 hours ago, Milestones said:

Here's a man who passed away at age 79 and I would argue that the work of his final two (2) decades was as strong as anything in his career.  It's amazing in size, diversity, and quality.

 

 

I totally agree with this.

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28 minutes ago, clifford_thornton said:

yeah that's the best part of that Levitts LP.

Well, that and Stella Levitt's cap, maybe?

Or maybe not?

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2 hours ago, Mark Stryker said:

Disagree: I don't think it's at all true that Chick entered the scene as a fully formed player. Perhaps that's a chimera created by his first records as a leader in 1966 and '68.

[...]

Contrast that with Tony Williams, who really did sound fully formed at age 17, when he made his first records in the winter and spring of 1963 with Jackie McLean, K.D., Herbie, and Miles. Or Joe Henderson who is already fully formed on first recorded appearance on K.D.s "Una Mas." (The track "Straight Ahead" is already peak Joe.)

It is true that "Tones For Joan's Bones" is an astonishing debut record, even in an era of remarkable debuts, and the one-two punch of "Tones" plus his sophomore record "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs," might be unequaled in terms of the  authority, vision, and maturity of  the first two records as a leader out of the gate in the LP era.. (I'd be curious to hear who folks feel would also be on this particular short list of the first two records as a leader.) 

You could argue that Joe Henderson also entered the scene before recording with Dorham at age 26, but of course Tony Williams' maturity at age 17 was astounding.

I would argue that Corea showed his "later" self already in 1965, for instance on this recording with Herbie Mann. As noted elsewhere on this forum, also very exciting comping behind Dave Pike's solo.

 

As for "Tones", the version with Blue Mitchell actually predates Corea's Vortex album slightly, and I think he plays even better on the tune there:

 

Edited by Daniel A

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     The only time I him was at Carnegie Hall, summer of ‘74. It was Al Di Meola’s first appearance with Return To Forever - apparently he was just brought in - Corea announced that their previous guitarist was suddenly called away. (I swear he said it was Earl Klugh.)
     However... I did see his electric piano once, on the stage of the old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh... the equipment for the  Miles Davis group was all set up, but Miles was a no-show. 
 

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1 hour ago, Daniel A said:

You could argue that Joe Henderson also entered the scene before recording with Dorham at age 26, but of course Tony Williams' maturity at age 17 was astounding.

I would argue that Corea showed his "later" self already in 1965, for instance on this recording with Herbie Mann. As noted elsewhere on this forum, also very exciting comping behind Dave Pike's solo.

 

As for "Tones", the version with Blue Mitchell actually predates Corea's Vortex album slightly, and I think he plays even better on the tune there:

 

This version of "Tones" is extremely beautiful. Blue Mitchell's tone is so crystalline.

Chick always did have great cover art, as well...

R-7598442-1462398393-8710.jpeg

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