Q: What happens when you turn one of the great composer/pianists of our time loose.
A: Nearly three hours of first-rate music.
National Endowment for the Arts jazz master and winner of 20 Grammy awards, Chick Corea releases Trilogy (Stretch Records/Concord Jazz, 2014), a special three-disc selection culled from various performances around the world. The trio includes bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. Guests Jorge Pardo and guitarist Nino Josele appear on two songs, and Corea’s wife, Gayle Moran Corea, provides the voice on “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
Disc 1 has seven tracks, including standards “The Song Is You” and “My Foolish Heart.” This part of the set ends with one of Corea’s most popular compositions, “Spain.” It begins with Josele playing a classical-style solo. The Corea’s piano comes in, offering hints of what’s to come. The guitar continues to lead as the prelude slowly builds up, eventually joined by the flute. At last, the ensemble kicks it in gear. The trio carries it early on. Guitar and flute rejoin when the familiar melody appears. Corea is clearly the star here, but Josele does plenty with the time he’s given. Things heat up when Pardo takes point. The flute easily transitions from simply intense to shrill. The energy remains high even when the volume is low for McBride’s turn out front. The song reverts to the main them for a triumphant ending.