Home Read Classic Album Review: Chick Corea | Selected Recordings

Classic Album Review: Chick Corea | Selected Recordings

A significant presence since the ’60s, the pianist sits at the forefront of fusion.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Maybe it’s because most of the big-name pop and rock acts are hibernating. Maybe it’s because I spent the last month swinging to the Rat Pack Christmas album. Or maybe it’s just because they both start with the letters J and A. Whatever. All I know is I always seem to listen to a lot of jazz in January. Looks like this year is no exception — thanks mainly to a cornucopia of cool titles that landed in stores before the holidays. At least four respected labels — Blue Note, ECM, Impulse and Verve — have impressive and affordable new retrospectives or reissues on the racks right now. Even if you don’t know be-bop from doo-wop, I suggest you give one or two a try. Here’s a little primer to help you get into the swing on Chick Corea:

WHO: Born Armando Anthony Corea but nicknamed Chick, pianist Corea has been a significant presence on the scene since the ’60s, both as a sideman and on his own eclectic projects.

WHEN: Corea recorded his first album in 1966, but stints with Miles Davis in the late ’60s and Return to Forever in the ’70s cemented his rep in the jazz-rock world.

WHAT YOU GET: A slate of 13 varied tracks — cerebral full-band fusion; haunting, minimalist ballads with vibraphonist Gary Burton; post-bop free-jazz improvisations with a trio; covers of classics by Cole Porter and pianist Thelonious Monk — recorded between ’72 and ’84 with various ensembles.

WHERE HE FITS IN: At the forefront of jazz-rock fusion.