This is the second of two LPs recorded by Chick Corea shortly after he broke up the avant-garde quartet Circle, saying that he wanted to communicate to a larger audience. As with the first set, these brief sketches are melodic and a bit precious but contain some strong moments. In addition to seven Corea originals, he interprets Thelonious Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle" and Wayne Shorter's "Masquellero." Not essential but worth acquiring.
After spending a year with the avant-garde quartet Circle, Chick Corea's desire to communicate to a wider audience led to him deciding to break up the unit. His first post-Circle recordings were two LPs of piano solos. Vol. 1 features six of his originals including the eight sketches of "Where Are You Now?," and the debut of the future standard "Sometime Ago." These performances are sometimes a bit precious, but they succeed in being acccessible and serve as a transition between Circle and Return to Forever.
Chick Corea's Elektric Band II found bassist John Patitucci, drummer Dave Weckl and guitarist Frank Gambale going out on their own and being replaced by Jimmy Earl, Gary Novak and Mike Miller. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal was the only sideman from the first Elektric Band to stick with Corea. Although the new members are not as distinctive as their predecessors, the high-quality material played on this release (which includes Jimmy Heath's "CTA," "Blue Miles" and a variety of Corea originals) is very jazz-oriented and occasionally there are straightahead sections. This set is recommended even to listeners who have not yet acquired a taste for fusion.
Chick Corea features an acoustic quartet on this CD, performing a full set of original material. Although the music is tied to a lengthy, complicated, and philosophical fictional piece outlined in great length in the liner notes (which are not really worth bothering with), the performances by the group (which is comprised of Corea on piano, Bob Berg on tenor and soprano, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Gary Novak) are excellent. Berg continues to grow and show individuality beyond the Michael Brecker influence (especially on soprano), the interplay between Corea and Patitucci is as impressive as ever, and Novak is alert to the constantly changing musical events.
Recorded live at Umbria Jazz late last year, with no preceding rehearsals, this is a mostly fabulous two-pianos set by superstar Corea, who was 70 in June, and the 38-year old Bollani.The performances are playful and intensely melodic, with only the opening improvisation sounding a little forced.