From Miles Davis to Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea has collaborated with an amazing amount of talents from the modern era. Born in Massachusetts on June 12, 1941, he began playing the piano at the age of six. By the time he turned 21 he was involved with well known leaders such as Herbie Mann and Blue Mitchell. But it was with Miles, in the late ’60s, that Corea found his most influential early gig. He was part of the Davis unit that created the electric jazz-rock opus, Bitches Brew. Davis’s liberal mind-set regarding jazz’s stylistic parameters gave Corea a green light to follow a multitude of subsequent moves. In the progressive acoustic quartet called Circle he investigated classical influences while still improvising; during this time, he also made superb, meditative solo piano discs. At the start of 1972 he plugged into electric music again, founding Return To Forever, one of fusion’s most popular ensembles. With bassist Stanley Clark and guitarist Al Dimeola, he wooed pop fans with rock rhythms and flashy soloing. His name became known well beyond the usual jazz turf. By the start of the ’80s there was virtually no setting in which the pianist hadn’t worked. Duets with Herbie Hancock and vibist Gary Burton were backed up with the recording of a Mozart concerto. The pianist found himself with a new cadre of players who were on his wavelength, and varied back and forth between his Akoustic and Elektric Bands……Learn More
Herbie Hancock’s 40-year career as a recording artist is graced by a series of astonishing musical landmarks. Few other musicians of the 20th century have exhibited the wide range of interests and mastery of various genres that this jazz legend has brought to his remarkable body of work. Nonetheless, at the age of 58, Hancock still expresses the kinds of irrepressible curiosity and restless creativity that keep him pushing at the boundaries of modern music.
“At this point in my career,” Hancock says, “I’m much more interested in projects that have the potential to be events, not just records. I want to do something broad-based that has the potential to reach into the life of people in more ways than just their ears.” The wedding of that ambitious artistic vision to his extraordinary musical versatility put Hancock in the perfect position to approach his new Verve recording, Gershwin’s World, a far-reaching tribute to the life and times of the great composer who did so much to popularize the jazz and blues idioms.
“I have always loved Gershwin’s music,” Hancock says. “I want to give respect and tribute to all of George Gershwin’s musical origins. The particular genres that Gershwin chose — classical music, jazz, and pop — are ones that I’ve explored, too.” Featuring performances by vocal superstars Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and Kathleen Battle, and the instrumental contributions of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, pianist Chick Corea, saxophonists Wayne Shorter, James Carter, and Kenny Garrett, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and bassist Ira Coleman, Gershwin’s World finds Hancock applying his unique piano genius not only to classic songs by Gershwin, but to pieces by contemporaries closely associated with Gershwin — stride piano master James P. Johnson, blues popularizer W. C. Handy, classical composer Maurice Ravel, and jazz giant Duke Ellington…..Read More
1989 Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival.
This video is from 1974.
“Someday My Prince Will Come”: