June 13, 2024


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CD review: Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade – Trilogy 2 – 2018: Video

Works by Chick Corea, a master pianist with tremendous popularity in Japan. Also this time, as well as the previous work, carefully selected the best take from the world tour live sound source. In addition to Tick’s representative song “La Fiesta” “500 Miles High” “Now He Singles Now He Sobs”, “Lotus Blossom” (Kenny Dorham), “All Blues” · Davis) and other cover of jazzman · original. 

In contrast to its black and white/sepia tone cover graphics, Trilogy is full of colors, primary, pastel and all shades in between. And that’s not surprising as the three piece group of pianist Chick Corea, percussionist Brian Blades and bassist Christian McBride is that most unusual of units: players of virtually equal technical and improvisational skill.

In his liner notes, Corea makes much of the pure pleasure factor inherent in the experience of the world tour with his cohorts from which these recordings were taken and that’s obvious in the sense of play each one of them evinces when interacting on stage. When Blade is soloing or accompanying, his sense of discovery is equally palpable in almost every measure, while McBride’s massive presence isn’t just physical, it’s his gleeful exploration of the possibilities presented by the acoustic double bass.

Exhibiting a new-found poise in his playing, Corea is likewise gracious and dignified in his introductions and repartee with the audience. Yet the sound of his piano rings with a lighthearted joy as he, McBride and Blade insinuate themselves into a variety of songs that effectively changes as the threesome move through different styles of material including Corea originals (“Fingerprints”), standards (“how Deep Is the Ocean”), covers (“Blue Monk”) and classical pieces (“Op.11 No. 9).

Given that diversity of material and the marvelous interplay it engenders, it’d well be impossible to imagine the dramatic musicianship descending into sameness, but the trio make sure to prevent that from derailing their momentum and thus losing the attention of the audience(s). Corea, McBride and Blade launch into an atonal exploration of ambient sound on “This Is New,” while the presence of two noteworthy guests, appropriately enough on the most well-known tunes here, add fresh twists (at the same time indicating the root humility Corea, McBride and Blade possess). This music is a world unto itself given its deceptive intensity, but “Spain” gains an even more exotic patina though the flute of Jorge Pardo and even though Gayle Moran Corea’s singing on the finale of “Someday My Prince Will Come” isn’t quite so distinctive, her appearance does make for a fitting conclusion nonetheless. This vocal should prompt listeners to contemplate the almost visceral sensation of rhapsody inspired by this sustained spontaneous creativity on this triple album.

Disc 1
1. How Deep Is The Ocean (Live) (12:48)
2. 500 Miles High (Live) (11:02)
3. Crepuscule With Nellie (Live) (06:40)
4. Work (Live) (04:54)
5. But Beautiful (Live) (09:01)
6. La Fiesta (Live) (07:10)

Disc 2
1. Eiderdown (Live) (11:07)
2. All Blues (Live) (11:35)
3. Pastime Paradise (Live) (08:26)
4. Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Live) (16:18)
5. Serenity (Live) (07:39)
6. Lotus Blossom (Live) (10:12)

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