Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friday the 13th: Chick Corea in Manila this February

Today is my lucky day. 

The jazz world has known for some time now that Chick Corea and his newly-formed Five Peace Band are kicking off 2009 with performances in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. But I just discovered this morning that even before heading down under, the jazz greats will be heading here.

Many know Corea through his most famous work, Spain. I myself first encountered the man when I was 9 via his take on Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, which he quotes as a prelude to his popular jazz track (later on, Al Jarreau recorded a version with lyrics).  Others know him for taking over Herbie Hancock's keyboards in Miles Davis's band when the former left, or for setting up his own group, Return to Forever, with bassist Stanley Clarke and vocal siren Flora Purim, among others.

But I remember him most for his mesmerizing album, The Mad Hatter (thanks George--for introducing me to the project), his avant garde brand of jazz, and his sublime improvisations on the Fender Rhodes...kaleidoscopic! Does anyone wonder why he has been Grammy-nominated 45 times and has won 14 statuettes?

Recently, Corea has re-teamed up with legendary guitarist John McLaughlin (they were together over 40 years ago in Miles Davis's band). With Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Brian Blade, Five Peace Band is poised to elevate new audiences and break down the borders of musical genres and generations.

And they will be in Manila for a one-night show on February 13, Friday.

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