Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chick Corea, et. al. - The Song Is You (Douglas, 199?)

This was an interesting album that I stumbled upon while browsing Emusic. It's an ad-hoc group jamming on some classics compositions, nominally led by pianist Chick Corea with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Miroslav Vitous in support. Different guests sit in at times like Anthony Brazton and Lee Konitz on saxophones and Pat Metheny on guitar. Recorded live at the 1982 Woodstock Jazz Festival, the discs open with an impassioned reading of John Coltrane's "Impressions." Like the Coltrane band of yore, Corea prods Braxton with relentless piano chords and the saxophonist responds with a gloriously intense solo. An unusual lineup pervades the group jam on Miles Davis's "So What," who would have ever expected Braxton and Metheny to share a stage? And while sparks don't necessarily fly, the jam works well, creating fine solo opportunities. The core trio gets a chance to shine on Duke Ellington's "Ishfahan" with some wonderful drum and piano interplay at the center of the performance. This was an interesting album, with some unexpected highlights, and very talented musicians having fun with the opportunity presented to them.

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