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Posts Tagged ‘Chick Corea’

Miles Davis Lost Quintet

 

MilesDavisLiveInEurope1969

In 1969 Miles was touring with a quintet containing Chick Corea on piano and Rhodes, Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Dave Holland on bass and Jack Dejohnette on drums. Any appreciator of modern jazz will recognize that as a band of heavyweights and 1969 as a year pregnant with musical revolution. Indeed, Corea, Shorter and Holland were part of the band behind Miles’ seminal In a Silent Way, and the whole quintet with Dejohnette, along with a number of other musicians, were part of the even more seminal Bitches Brew. Despite the generally well recorded associations Miles had with the members of this band, the band by itself was never captured in its element and up until recently there were no official releases of the band. This earned the 1969 quintet its own moniker: along with the First Great Quintet with John Coltrane and the Second Great Quintet with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, this was the Lost Quintet.

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New Stuff: Linda Oh and Return to Forever Returns

Chick Corea with the Five Peace Band at the Bluenote, November 2011

More new albums for today. The latest iteration of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever came out with a live two disc set and bassist Linda Oh’s excellent sophomore album “Initial Here“. Posts on the new Ravi Coltrane album (assuming I can find a copy) and Bela Fleck, Marcus Roberts and traditionalism upcoming, but the Linda Oh and Return to Forever albums should provide plenty to talk about for now.

Linda Oh, an Australian raised Malaysian-Chinese bassist now operating in New York, released her first album as leader, aptly titled “Entry“, in 2009. In between she’s been making waves in the live scene, although from what I can tell she’s been on only a handful of recordings. One of those was Dave Douglas’ “Orange Afternoons” which was a fine album with a great band: Dave Douglas on trumpet, Vijay Iyer on piano, Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, Linda Oh on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. It was extremely enjoyable, but Oh’s bass was not really on display there. Fortunately we have her new album to remedy that: it is an album on which both her playing and compositions shine.

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Further Explorations: Chick Corea album review and thoughts on tributes in general

This last week saw the release of Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian’s “Further Explorations“, a tribute of sorts to piano great Bill Evans with two alumni of Evans’ groups. As tributes go, it’s pretty good, in no small part I think because it’s only sometimes a tribute and as often as not it’s own album. As a pianist who’s had a lasting impact on the language jazz, Bill Evans has had no shortage of tribute, and we, the listening public, have never wanted for mediocre takes on ‘Waltz for Debby’ as a result. This album may not be truly groundbreaking, neither my favorite of Chick’s nor of Paul’s albums, but it has a sound its own and more than a few interesting moments.

This was basically a pickup band for two weeks at the Bluenote in early 2010, but the pieces fit together pretty well, which is not always a guarantee when people with as idiosyncratic a bent as Paul Motian or Eddie Gomez are put together. Strike of luck that they aren’t stepping on each other’s toes but actually give each other just the right amount of space. Ethan Iverson’s wonderful tribute to Paul Motian has a section which discusses Paul’s personal reminiscences to Ethan, some of which are in regards to Bill Evans. Paul, it seems, tried to get Bill to hire ‘earthier’ bassists, while Bill largely refused. Eddie Gomez, Bill’s bassist for many years, does not have what you would describe as a particularly ‘earthy’ sound. I have mixed feelings about Eddie; he has undeniable technical prowess, but so often his work sounds sort of dry and flat to me. And he is a wordy player; it’s a sound that doesn’t always play well with others. Paul Motian, despite his own proclivity to earthy bass players (see long time partner Charlie Haden) has a sound that is open and spacy enough to actually accommodate Eddie. Chick too knows how to work with Eddie, offering him counterpoint rather than chord-filled comping. Times during Eddie’s solo on the second track, “Gloria’s Step” sound almost like Eddie and Chick trading solo space. It’s the only way to work with someone as constantly active as Eddie and it works well. All in all, a fine album. Not the essential album, perhaps, but the Motian solo on ‘Hot House’ is worth the price of admission alone.

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