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Chick Corea

John McLaughlin

Chick Corea & John McLaughlin
@ the Royal Festival Hall
23 November 2008

Click an image to enlarge.

Chick Corea biography

Born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Massachusetts on June 12, 1941, Corea began studying piano at age four. Early on in his development, Horace Silver and Bud Powell were important piano influences while access to the music of Beethoven and Mozart inspired his compositional instincts. Corea’s first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway, which came before early stints in Latin bands led by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo (1962-63). There followed important tenures with trumpeter Blue Mitchell (1964-66), flutist Herbie Mann and saxophonist Stan Getz before Corea made his recording debut as a leader in 1966 with “Tones for Joan’s Bones” (which featured trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist and flutist Joe Farrell, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Joe Chambers).

After accompanying Sarah Vaughan in 1967, Corea went into the studio in March of 1968 and recorded “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes. That trio album is now considered a jazz classic. In the fall of 1968, Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ band. In September of that year, he played Fender Rhodes electric piano on Miles' important and transitional recording “Filles de Kilimanjaro”, which pointed to a fresh new direction in jazz. Between 1968 and 1970, Corea also appeared on such groundbreaking Davis recordings as “In a Silent Way”, “Bitches Brew”, “Live-Evil” and “Live at the Fillmore East”. He is also a key player in Davis’ electrified ensemble that appeared before 600,000 people on August 29, 1970 at the Isle of Wight Festival in England (captured on Murray Lerner's excellent documentary, Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue). Shortly after that historic concert, both Corea and bassist Dave Holland left Miles’ group to form the cooperative avant-garde quartet Circle with drummer Barry Altschul and saxophonist Anthony Braxton. Though its tenure was short-lived, Circle recorded three adventurous albums, culminating in the arresting live double LP “Paris-Concert” (recorded on February 21, 1971 for the ECM label before Corea changed directions again. His excellent “Piano Improvisations”, Vol. 1 and 2, recorded over two days in April 1971 for ECM, was the first indication that solo piano performance would become fashionable.

Toward the end of 1971, Corea formed his first edition of Return To Forever with Stanley Clarke on acoustic bass, Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, Airto Moreira on drums and percussion and his wife Flora Purim on vocals.

By early 1973, Return To Forever had taken a different course. Following the addition of electric guitarist Bill Connors and thunderous drummer Lenny White, the group was fully fortified to embrace the emerging fusion movement with a vengeance. A third edition of RTF featured a four-piece brass section along with bassist Clarke, charter RTF member Joe Farrell, drummer Gerry Brown and Chick's future wife Gayle Moran on vocals. Together they recorded 1977's “Music Magic” (Columbia) and the four-LP boxed set R.T.F. “Live” (Columbia), which captured the sheer energy and excitement of the full ensemble on tour.

The year 1982 was again marked by a flurry of creative activity that yielded such gems as the Spanish-tinged Touchstone (featuring flamenco guitar great Paco de Lucia and a reunion of Corea's RTF bandmates Al Di Meola, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke on the aptly-titled "Compadres"), the adventurous Again and Again (a quintet date featuring the remarkable flutist Steve Kujala), Corea's ambitious Lyric Suite for Sextet (a collaboration with vibraphonist Gary Burton augmented by string quartet) and The Meeting (a duet encounter with renowned classical pianist Friedrich Gulda). 1982 also marked the formation of the Echoes of an Era band (essentially an all-star backing band for R&B singer Chaka Khan’s first foray into jazz.

Through the remainder of the ‘80s and into the early ‘90s, Corea returned to the fusion arena with a vengeance with his Elektric Band, featuring drummer Dave Weckl, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, bassist John Pattitucci and guitarist Frank Gambale.

By 1992, Corea had realised a lifelong goal in forming Stretch Records. Among its early releases were projects by Bob Berg, John Patitucci, Eddie Gomez and Robben Ford. In 1997, Corea released a recording with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Bobby McFerrin as conductor. Their second collaboration, entitled “The Mozart Sessions” (Sony Classical) followed on the heels of their first duet Grammy Award winning recording, 1991's “Play” (Blue Note). That same incredibly productive year (1977), Corea unveiled his acoustic sextet Origin (the band's self-titled debut release was a live recording at the Blue Note club in New York) and also teamed up with old partner Gary Burton, rekindling their chemistry from the ‘70s on “Native Sense-The New Duets”, which earned Corea his ninth GRAMMY® Award.

In 2001, Corea unveiled his New Trio, featuring drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Avishai Cohen, on “Past, Present & Futures”. By the end of that year, Corea was engaged with his ambitious three-week career retrospective at the Blue Note.

In 2004, Corea reunited his high-powered Elektric Band for a tour and subsequent recording based on L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction novel To The Stars. And in 2005, he returned to Hubbard for further musical inspiration, this time interpreting The Ultimate Adventure, an exotic blend of passionate flamenco melodies, North African and Middle Eastern grooves and adventurous improvisation.

Without doubt Chick Corea one of the most prolific composers of the second half of the 20th century. From avant-garde to bebop, from children’s songs to straight ahead, from hard-hitting fusion to heady forays into classical, Corea has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career. He continues to explore and generate new material for a number of different vehicles.

John McLaughlin biography

John McLaughlin was born on January 4, 1942 in Yorkshire, Great Britain. Although his mother was a violinist, he starts learning piano at the age of 9. Two years later, he changed the piano for a guitar.

By the end of the 50’s, McLaughlin performed with banjoist, Pete Deuchar and his Professors of Ragtime, he decided to leave for London where he made his first professional steps in rock and blues groups. In the beginning of the 60’s, he crossed paths with Georgie Fame and Blue Flames, performing with Alexis Korner, the Graham Band Organisation and Trinity, the group of organ player Brian Auger. Later, McLaughlin spent six months in Germany amid the Gunter Hampel band.

In 1968, at the age of 26 McLaughlin initiated his first personal projects and formed his own group with John Surman, Tony Okley and bassist Brian Odges. The same year he stood for the kick-off of his discographical career as a leader with the recording of his first album: “Extrapolation” (1969). As well as working on his own projects, McLaughlin found time to work with and contribute to many jazz classics such as Miles Davis’ “In A Silent Way”, “Bitches Brew”, “Big Fun” in 1969, then “A tribute to Jack Johnson”, “Live Evil” in 1970, and “On The Corner” in 1972.

McLaughlin also recorded with Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles and Dave Holland: however, the tapes of this session remain unreleased. Electric fusion attracts musicians coming out from different horizons. After becoming a disciple of guru Shri Chinmoy Ghose, the McLaughlin took the name of Mahavishnu. After a new solo album “My Goals Beyond” (1970), he set up one of the outstanding groups of these jazz rock years: The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Billy Cobham, Jam Hammer, Jerry Goodman, and bassist Rick Laird feature in the original line up.

Despite much recording success, the adventure of the band came to an end, but would start episodically again with new musicians: Jean-Luc Ponty et Gayle Moran, Bill Evans, Jonas Hellborg, Mitchell Forman, Billy Cobham, Danny Gotlieb, Katia Labèque, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Hussain.

After a brief guitarist summit encounter with Carlos Santana in 1972, John McLaughlin decided to play with Indian musicians: violinist L. Shankar, percussionist
Zakir Hussain and Raghavan. Shakti was born in1975, and until 1977, the band toured the world. Many more collaborations and recording would follow in the years to come.

In 1993, John McLaughlin turned a new page, and decided to come back to his former passion for trio with a Hammond organ. He appeals to es-funk drummer Dennis Chambers, and a fresh new young talent discovered by Miles Davis, named Joey De Francesco.

John McLaughlin has recorded many landmark albums and worked with many diverse legends of music such as Bill Evans, Joey De Francesco, Jeff Beck, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Sting, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia, Jim Beard, Victor Williams, Gary Thomas, Otmaro Ruiz, Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Hadrien Féraud and Chick Corea.

Kenny Garrett & John McLaughlin &  Kenny Garrett

John McLaughlin & Kenny Garrett

Kenny Garrett & John McLaughlin

Christian McBride


Recommended
Listening

 

Burton / Corea / Metheny / Haynes / Holland - like minds Chick Corea - Spanish Heart Return To Forever featuring Chick Corea - No Mystery Chick Corea - Now he sings now he sobs
Chick Corea - Piano Improvisations Chick Corea - return to forever Return To Forever - Romantic Warrior return to forever - the hymn of the seventh
Chick Corea - Tap Step The Chick Corea Elektric Band Bobby McFerrin / Chick Corea - The Mozart Sessions Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure
Chick Corea / Miroslav Vitous / Roy Haynes - Trio Music Chick Corea - Universal Syncopations return to forever featuring Chick Corea - where have I known you before Chick Corea / return to forever - light as a feather
Chick Corea / return to forever - light as a feather Chick Corea - Crystal Silence John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist John McLaughlin - Birds of Fire
John McLaughlin - Extrapolation John McLaughlin - Industrial Zen

 

Further Recommended
Viewing

Click the images below to view more photographs of
John McLaughlin, Chick Corea or Kenny Garrett...

John McLaughlin @ the Royal Festival Hall, 2014  (click to go to this page) John McLaughlin @ the Barbican Centre 2012  (click to go to his page) Chick Corea @ the Barbican, 2007  (click to go to his page) Kenny Garrett @  the St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2006 (click to go to his page)

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