This is the second of two LPs recorded by Chick Corea shortly after he broke up the avant-garde quartet Circle, saying that he wanted to communicate to a larger audience. As with the first set, these brief sketches are melodic and a bit precious but contain some strong moments. In addition to seven Corea originals, he interprets Thelonious Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle" and Wayne Shorter's "Masquellero." Not essential but worth acquiring.
After spending a year with the avant-garde quartet Circle, Chick Corea's desire to communicate to a wider audience led to him deciding to break up the unit. His first post-Circle recordings were two LPs of piano solos. Vol. 1 features six of his originals including the eight sketches of "Where Are You Now?," and the debut of the future standard "Sometime Ago." These performances are sometimes a bit precious, but they succeed in being acccessible and serve as a transition between Circle and Return to Forever.
Chick Corea features an acoustic quartet on this CD, performing a full set of original material. Although the music is tied to a lengthy, complicated, and philosophical fictional piece outlined in great length in the liner notes (which are not really worth bothering with), the performances by the group (which is comprised of Corea on piano, Bob Berg on tenor and soprano, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Gary Novak) are excellent. Berg continues to grow and show individuality beyond the Michael Brecker influence (especially on soprano), the interplay between Corea and Patitucci is as impressive as ever, and Novak is alert to the constantly changing musical events.
Recorded live at Umbria Jazz late last year, with no preceding rehearsals, this is a mostly fabulous two-pianos set by superstar Corea, who was 70 in June, and the 38-year old Bollani.The performances are playful and intensely melodic, with only the opening improvisation sounding a little forced.
Three CD box set of Chick Corea’s piano music, reminding us that the distinguished solo piano tradition at ECM started in 1971 with Corea’s spontaneously-recorded volumes of improvisations and jazz tunes (all by Chick save for Monk’s “Trinkle, Tinkle” and Wayne Shorter’s “Masqualero”). The “Children’s Songs”, recorded in 1983, are finely-honed yet playful solo piano miniatures that can be related to the tradition of Bartók’s “Mikrokosmos” and Kurtág’s “Játékok”. Violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist Fred Sherry join Chick for an “Addendum”. Booklet includes liner notes by Chick Corea and Neil Tesser, plus archive photos.