Chick Corea (1941-2021)

In the mid 1960s through the 70s Classic Rock and Fusion jazz groups populated the same performance landscapes and often shared the same audiences. Part of the reason for that must be laid at the feet of the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. While electric amplification was part and parcel of rock music of the day Miles and jazz musicians had only recently discovered electricity. Miles was and an avid explorer of new technology, new musical genres, new bands and new musicians. His bands were populated by the brightest and the most technically innovative musicians of the day. Among his brightest stars were the pianists Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. At the age of 80 Herbie Hancock is still musically active; at the age of 76 Keith Jarrett has been sidelined by very significant health issues and is currently no longer performing; At the age of 79 Chick Corea Corea died of cancer at his home in the Tampa Bay area of Florida on February 9, 2021. He had only recently been diagnosed with cancer.   Chick was a prolific composer and performer right up until his death.

His most famous composition  is an Instrumental jazz fusion composition titled Spain. It was composed in 1971 and appeared in its original (and most well-known) rendition on the album Light as a Feather. It featured Chick Corea on Rhodes electric piano, Airto Moreira on drums, Flora Purim on vocals and percussion, Stanley Clarke on bass and Joe Farrell on flute. The introduction used in the song is from the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo’s  Concierto de Aranjuez guitar concerto. The chord progression for the piece is | Gmaj7 | F#7 | Em7 A7 | Dmaj7 (Gmaj7) | C#7 F#7 | Bm B7 |.

This attached video is a later version recorded in Barcelona, Spain that featured Jorge Pardo (flute, soprano and alto sax) Carles Benavent (bass) Rubem Dantas (percussion) Hossam Ramzy (Egyptian percussion) Tom Brechtlein (drums) Auxi Fernandez (Flamenco dance) Tomasito Moreno (Flamenco dance).

The Jazz world, and the musical world in general, has lost one of the most significant musician of the past 50 years. He will be sorely missed.

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THE CHICK COREA AKOUSTIC BAND. JAZZ SAN JAVIER 2018.

“Nineteen years after his long remembered performance with the group Origin and Gary Burton during the second edition of the festival, Jazz San Javier is pleased to present the return of Chick Corea. With a most brilliant career which began in 1966 as leader of his own projects, with 20 Grammy Awards to his name, and 51 Grammy nominations, Chick Corea is one of the top piano players of his generation, alongside Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. An innovator with his electric projects like “Return To Forever” and the “Elektric Band”, he also shows his best facet as brilliant pianist through his acoustic projects, the brightest of which is the Akoustic Band, a meeting which is perceived as the jazz event of the year, with two other jazz greats, John Patitucci and Dave Weckl.”

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