Chick Corea may have formed a new band, but still has ghosts from the Return to Forever reunion on his mind. Just check out the cover of The Vigil (named for this group) with its obviously L. Ron-inspired theme and track list ("Galaxy 32 Star 4"?). What year is this? That's not to make light of the music. Corea's international ensemble includes drummer Marcus Gilmore, French bassist Hadrien Feraud, Britain's Tim Garland on reeds and winds, and guitarist Charles Altura.
This post-Return to Forever Chick Corea LP is a bit of a mixed bag. Corea is heard on his many keyboards during an atmospheric "The Woods," interacts with a string section on "Tweedle Dee," features a larger band plus singer Gayle Moran on a few other songs and even welcomes fellow keyboardist Herbie Hancock for the "Mad Hatter Rhapsody." The most interesting selection, a quartet rendition of "Humpty Dumpty" with tenorman Joe Farrell set the stage for his next project, Friends. Overall, this is an interesting and generally enjoyable release.
The Complete "Is" Sessions were recorded during Chick Corea's tenure with Miles Davis, along with bassist Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. Recorded over three days in New York, the final product came out as two albums on different labels "Is," "This," "Jamala," and "I," were issued as Is on Solid State, and the remaining cuts came out as Sundance on Groove Merchant "The Brain," "Song of the Wind," "Converge," and the title cut. Blue Note has assembled not only the two released recordings on this double-CD package, but the alternate takes as well, to offer a complex, very remarkable portrait of the chemistry that occurred when that trio engaged Woody Shaw, Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws, and additional drummer Horace Arnold.
20-Time GRAMMY® winner Chick Corea returns with his highly anticipated new band. The Vigil also features guest appearances by Stanley Clarke and Ravi Coltrane. A new release by Chick Corea is an event not to be overlooked. When it also features Tim Garland then the interest is doubled for those of us in the north east who have a special affection for Tim due to his long association with the area (One time Director of Music at Newcastle Uni, various collaborations with Northern Sinfonia and the delightful quirkiness of living in a lighthouse at Whitley Bay) and, of course, his instrumental and compositional skills.
The informal title says a great deal about the contents of The Mozart Sessions, which could have been called Concerti for Piano and Orchestra, Nos. 23 and 20, since that is, for the most part, what it is. But of course the conductors, vocalist Bobby McFerrin and jazz keyboard player Chick Corea, are not your average classical musicians. Nor is there any doubt about the non-traditional nature of the recording, when it starts with McFerrin's patented improvisational vocals followed by Corea's piano inventions under the title "Prelude."