This very attractive five-CD set does an excellent job of summing up the rather productive career of pianist-keyboardist Chick Corea. The first two discs have highlights from the 1964-1982 period including a few sideman appearances, a previously unissued version of "Windows" played with Stan Getz, the original version of "Spain," four pieces from the Return to Forever days, and numbers from his freelance projects of the late '70s (highlighted by the exciting "Central Park"). The third disc concentrates on Corea's GRP projects (1986-1994), particularly his Elektric and Akoustic Bands (two selections were previously unissued), while the fourth CD is quite a grab-bag that includes collaborations with Herbie Hancock (a version of "Liza" that progresses from stride to free), Gayle Moran, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia, Gary Burton, Bobby McFerrin, and Miles Davis (a new duet version of "I Fall in Love So Easily" from 1969).
Chick Corea and John McLaughlin share one of the great pedigrees in the music of the 20th century: they were both key sidemen on Miles Davis' seminal albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. They have played together since those heady days, as a duo or as sit-in guests. Five Peace Band was Corea's idea of putting together a dream band to play all kinds of jazz, and he approached McLaughlin. Corea chose the other members in saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and bassist Christian McBride.
Since Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock had by 1978 spent several years mostly playing electric keyboards, their acoustic duet tour surprised many listeners who thought that they would always specialize in fusion. This double album contains many fine performances including lengthy versions of "Maiden Voyage" and "La Fiesta" but it is the striding by Corea and Hancock on "Liza" that is most unique.
Chick Corea's Elektric Band II found bassist John Patitucci, drummer Dave Weckl and guitarist Frank Gambale going out on their own and being replaced by Jimmy Earl, Gary Novak and Mike Miller. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal was the only sideman from the first Elektric Band to stick with Corea. Although the new members are not as distinctive as their predecessors, the high-quality material played on this release (which includes Jimmy Heath's "CTA," "Blue Miles" and a variety of Corea originals) is very jazz-oriented and occasionally there are straightahead sections. This set is recommended even to listeners who have not yet acquired a taste for fusion.
A mixture of Latin and Flamenco with jazz was pianist Chick Corea's strategy for this 2007 Barcelona concert from the Palau de Musica.
For this somewhat obscure Chick Corea LP, the pianist teams up with flutist Steve Kujala for a set of duets. Together they perform three of Corea's lesser-known originals along with two melodic free improvisations.