Age 26 at the time, and on the brink of gaining major recognition in the jazz world, pianist Chick Corea is featured with a very strong trio that also includes bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes. The music includes 11 of Corea's originals, including "Matrix," "Windows," and "Samba Yantra," Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" and the standard "My One and Only Love" and is essentially advanced hard bop with an open-minded attitude toward free jazz. Listen to how part of "Steps-What Was" has hints of Corea's future composition "Spain."
To my knowledge this is the first time Evan Parker has recorded with a vocalist (both musicians appeared on a 1993 Leo double-CD, Synergetics / Phonomanie III, but performed together only briefly, and not in a duet setting)...
This may not be the ultimate Chick Corea collection, but fans aren't likely to find a better one on video anytime soon. A near-complete portrait of the legendary pianist's non-fusion career is captured on the 10-DVD Rendezvous In New York boxed set, featuring performances from his three-week run of reunion concerts at the New York's Blue Note in 2003 to celebrate his 60th birthday. Those craving more after hearing the Grammy-nominated double-CD released that year under the same name will find the extended material equally satisfying. It also stands commendably on its own as a showcase for some of the most talented musicians from the past 25 years including Bobby McFerrin, Roy Haynes, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd and John Patitucci.
2006 seems to be a significant year for jazz's elder states persons. Pianist Andrew Hill has seen a year full of recordings: new music, reissues and previously unreleased material, as well as an outstanding tribute by guitarist Nels Cline. Chick Corea, who's a few years younger than Hill, has released a new record and toured with trios focusing on his back catalog. Super Trio (Stretch, 2006) documented a tour where the pianist was clearly in control of the arrangements; however, Live in Molde is an entirely different affair.
Recording live at New York's Blue Note club, Chick Corea unveiled another new group, the challenging Origin acoustic sextet, on this CD, winnowing down some 12 sets into an hour-plus package. With Steve Davis (trombone) and Bob Sheppard and Steve Wilson (flutes and reeds) up front, Corea had a flexible horn choir to write for, and he uses mellow, urbane voicings that recall some of the Herbie Hancock Sextet's early work in the late '60s. The interplay that Avishai Cohen (bass), Adam Cruz (drums), and Corea have with the horns, though, is anything but mellow, and frequently they strike combative sparks against each other. Some of the selections, including "Double Image" (no relation to Joe Zawinul's electric jazz classic) and "Dreamless," have Latin-ish grooves – which are no strangers to Corea's Spanish heart – in spots.