March 2008

Chick Corea solo piano
March 5, 2008 Massey Hall Toronto
"Welcome to my practice room." (Chick Corea)
by David Fujino
In his one solo concert for this year, the genial Chick Corea kept his preambles brief and he allowed his piano to do most of the talking.

Corea's deep roots in the jazz tradition were immediately apparent — because he consistently played himself — and where other pianists might interpolate clever dissonant 2nds in Monk's "Tinkle Trinkle", he coaxed out a rich harmonic sheen from the tune. Where others might play "Pannonica" in a slow sad lilt, his version was full of witty hesitations capped off with an individualistic surprise ending, as befits a Monk tune.

For most of the evening the eclectic pianist's penchant for Latin rhythms remained firmly understated, but when he played his "Yellow Nimbus" (written for the guitarist Paco de Lucia) his trademark rhythmic comps effectively urged the composition on until it resonated mightily like a huge full-bore, driven Spanish guitar.

This same acute sense of rhythm allowed him to connect with the spread out hypnotic pulsation of Alexander Scriabin's "Preludes #4 and #2"; explore the reflective impressionism in Bill Evans' "Very Early" and "Waltz for Debby"; and penetrate the inner logic of Bud Powell's composition known variously as "Dusk and Sandy", and "Dusty and Sandy".

In Corea's Childrens' Songs, this notion of time — an early time — was gracefully interpreted in six selections from his 20-song cycle. The first piece played out as a skipping 'round' in the right hand. The second had modern harmony moving downward against a simple kids' 'round'. Another was more talkative and grown up and pesky, with one kid elbowing another in the ribs. And the sixth piece was a luminous blooming of sonorous chords and mirroring calls.

Chick Corea
Occasionally during his spoken introductions, or after a tune was concluded, Corea punctuated his thought with a soft tap of his right foot, reminding us that in life, as in music, the beat goes on.

I found this a gentle yet clear wake-up call.

We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
• • • • • •
The Live Music Report
• •

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2008