Archive for November 8th, 2013

Chick Corea – The Vigil

In a way, it’s similar, but at the same time, it’s also very different. It is The Vigil (Concord Jazz, 2013) by Chick Corea. The title is also the name of the legendary composer and keyboardist’s new group.

The ensemble consists of Corea, piano, synthesizers; Tim Garland, tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, flute; Charles Altura, electric and acoustic guitars; Hadrien Feraud, bass; and Marcus Gilmore, drums. Additional players who appear on selected tracks are percussionist Pernell Saturnino, vocalist Gayle Moran Corea (Chick’s wife and vocalist for Mahavinshu Orchestra), bassist Stanley Clarke and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane.

“The stars are your playthings forever” is the note on the opening track, “Galaxy 32 Star 4.” Working with the core group, Corea sounds like he always has: interesting, innovative and engaging. The constant with Corea throughout his career has been his writing. Whether an acoustic piano or an electronic keyboard, you can almost distinguish his music by the way the notes are arranged. That matters here because “Galaxy 32 Star 4” sounds a little bit like Chick Corea circa 1980, Chick Corea Elektric Band and Chick Corea Elektric Band II. Even Feraud’s solo is reminiscent of Elektric band alum John Patitucci. However, Garland’s soprano sax is in a different world from Eric Marienthal’s style. And Gilmore’s drumming is clearly his own. Another difference is the Elektric Band songs were generally four to seven minutes. Galaxy at 8:20 is the second shortest track in this set of seven.

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