Chick Corea was involved in a wide variety of projects during the early 1980s, some acoustic, others electric, and everything from solos and duets to orchestral projects. Touchstone really displays quite a bit of diversity with features for flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia, a one-song ("Compadres") reunion of Return to Forever (with guitarist Al DiMeola, bassist Stanley Clarke, and drummer Lenny White), a spot for alto-great Lee Konitz ("Duende"), and a conventional sextet outing on "Dance of Chance." A bit uneven but with its interesting moments, Touchstone is worth checking out.
Believed to have been composed between August 1775 and January 1777, the Concerto In E Flat Major for two pianos technically counts as being the tenth of Mozart's twenty-seven concertos, that huge and prodigious body that would set the standards for all piano concertos from Mozart's time forward. Although it is not performed with the same frequency as his later works (especially the final eight concertos, 20-27), this "Double" piano concerto, believed to have been composed by Mozart for performance by him and his sister Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), is nevertheless a fascinating experiment of Mozart's, one that requires a pair of solid keyboard virtuosos to do (and for the composer's Seventh piano concerto, you needed three soloists). Fortunately on this 1984 Teldec recording, we have the required two keyboard virtuosos, both of whom come from very divergent musical backgrounds. Austrian-born pianist Friedrich Gulda came from a classical music background and began exploring jazz later on in his life; while Chick Corea is one of the best-known pianists in American jazz music, and, like fellow jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, developed a great feel for classical music.
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.
Reissue and remastered. Comes with new liner notes. Available only for a limited period of time until March 20, 2015. It's unlikely that two major musicians could have more in common than Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Born a year apart, they both got their starts on Blue Note sessions in the early 1960s, worked extensively with Miles Davis (albeit in very different periods), and were among the architects and biggest successes of fusion in the 1970s. Equally distinguished as pianists and composers, they share many of the same influences, both in classical music (Ravel, Debussy, Bartók) and jazz (Davis, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans), and in the late 1970s, both were dividing their time between electric and acoustic projects.