Monday, December 30, 2019

Chick Corea - Trilogy 2 (Concord Jazz, 2019)

This generous set of standards and original compositions which places veteran pianist Chick Corea in an excellent space, improvising with younger yet experienced musicians in bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade and they come together to create superior sounding live mainstream jazz. Thelonious Monk's "Crepuscule With Nellie" is played in a witty yet thoughtful manner that allows the group to tinker with some of Monk's unique mannerisms like Corea adding decorative flourishes, while allowing the beauty of the melody to shine through. "Work" is is short, fast paced tune that is very impressive, showing the trio locked in tightly whatever the tempo, creating a bouncy and brisk swing that is infectious, and incorporates some tricky drum and piano interplay. "La Fiesta" works quite well, offering the trio chances to juggle complex rhythms and changes of pace that keep the music continuously entertaining. The Miles Davis classic "All Blues" is given a thorough investigation, delving deep into the implications of the theme and open ended nature of the song's structure. McBride takes a thoughtful solo, grounding the music for it's final push to the conclusion. The centerpiece of the album is "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs," the title composition of one of Chick Corea's finest early albums. The trio takes this and really runs with it, over sixteen minutes of complex and well executed modern jazz. The music develops episodically, gathering a strong kinetic energy, ripe keyboards and crisp drumming eventually making way for a taut and impressive bass solo. Blade's drum solo is a wonder of percussion, a highlight of the album which powers the trio through the end of the track. The album ends with a spirited performance of "Lotus Blossom" which quickly becomes a nimble uptempo performance, with the band swinging in a confident manner. Their three way improvisation works very well, creating a tight driven sensibility, one that presents the group in their best light. Trilogy 2 -

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