Skip to comments.Chick Corea Dead at 79.
Posted on 02/11/2021 9:13:17 PM PST by lee martell
I just found out that jazz pianist Chick Corea has died today from a rare form of cancer. I never knew all that much about him. I still don't. What I do recall was his album The Leprechaun from 1976. Pleasant listening. I had hoped to see him live someday. Not meant to be. I used to play that album on repeat for hours as I did my homework in College. Corea and the group Weather Report were among my favorites. Back in Columbus Ohio. I will leave it up to someone more deeply versed in jazz piano to describe Chick's many contributions to world music.
Dammit. And Soros still draws breath.
He put together a band that made one of the best albums of its era, Romantic Warrior, then he promptly fired half the band and never did anything good afterwards. At very least he’s the answer to the question of “Who in his right mind would fire Al Di Meola for not being good enough?”
I never listened to any of his music after Return To Forever broke up.
Firing Al DiMeola for not being good enough?
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
Unless you’re hiring Larry Carlton or Phil Keaggy to replace him...
Find on you tub-— one of Corea’s classic compositions, on the album “Light as a Feather”
The song— “Spain” (intro is the opening lines of Concerto de Aranguez).
Oh heck, here, the original 9:50:
And how versatile the music- here with Bela Fleck and Bobby McFerrin and Chick, same tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOfiX55-i7k
I vaguely recall hearing a lot about Al Di Meola many years ago. Always with great praise and fascination. I haven’t kept up with that scene.
I do know some people will fire or distance themselves from a clear professional if they think that professional is better than they (the Star performer) are, or competing for the same audience. Sometimes others in the entourage will whisper negative things in the Star performer’s ears.
I’ve heard that’s what happened with Elton John and Neil Sadaka. Elton brought Neil out of retirement for a short while in the early 1980’s. Elton’s people thought Neil was getting more applause at certain performances than Elton was then. Suddenly, Neil was off the schedule and back on his own. They didn’t speak for many years, then cleared the matter up.
Al was hired to play in Return To Forever out of the Berklee College of Music. They made him stick around and practice after sessions and concerts were over in order to get him up to the “standards of the band” and fired him, along with Lenny White, after they recorded Romantic Warrior. Stanley Clarke wanted to keep the band together but Chick was the boss.
Al went on to win just about every and any award you could imagine for his guitar work. His album Elegant Gypsy is one of my all-time favorites and critics call Friday Night in San Francisco one of the best acoustic albums ever recorded.
If you haven’t heard his solo work, along with the solo albums by Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, you are missing out on some masterpieces.
THANKS for that !
I have a few of his albums, picked up over the years at thrift shops.
Fantastic song writer.
Chick Corea is possibly one of the best jazz musicians to ever exist. I have loved everything he has done through out his life. My first introduction to his music was from a girl friend back in the seventies. Check out the electric band or acoustic band. He defines the 70’s and all the way to his end. I will miss him.
According to DiMeloa Return to Forever disbanded because Stanley Clarke left Scientology. Corea was a member and follower of L Ron Hubbard and per DiMeola Stanley’s leaving Scientology did not sit right with Chick (link) https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-08-16-ca-719-story.html#:~:text=When%20Clarke%20gave%20up%20Scientology,different%20direction%2C%E2%80%9D%20DiMeola%20said.
I saw Chick in Manhattan at the Bottom Line. After the show you are allowed to go upstairs and meet the members of the band as the dressing rooms are upstairs. I, being a big fan of Chick went upstairs. Their were several people talking to him at the time and all Chick was talking about was Scientology. I just walked away. I was at the show with a friend from Brazil and Airto Moreira, a Brazilian percussionist and his wife and singer Flora Purim (also from Brazil) happened to be playing with Chick that night. So my friend and I ended up in Airto and Flora’s dressing room. During the show Flora sang a song, “Five Hundred Miles High” that was featured on the Light As a Feather album. And I mentioned to Flora how I always loved that song. I always remember the conversation because when I mentioned the song Airto started complaining that Chick was playing it in the wrong key. Both Airto and Flora graciously spent a good half hour speaking to my friend and me. So that’s my Chick story.
He was a giant of a musician. But it always struck me as odd that he would be so caught up in the Scientology thing.
A great loss.
Corea recorded the classical Beethoven piece “Fur Elise” with the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York for their CD, “The Greatest Hits of 1790.” The album is a standard classical compilation, that is, except for Corea’s performance.
It starts off as one would expect, but at about 1:35, Corea starts to insert some jazz improvisation that is quite brilliant and which continues almost to the end.
For your listening pleasure:
This is my favourite recording of his. (Don't listen to Chick - Listen to Steve Gadd)
Great first hand account. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea Chick corea was a Scientologist. I hope he got out of that and found Jesus.
Flora Purim ... I’d forgotten that name. Great voice.
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