VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases
12 MAR 09 JONATHAN WIDRAN
Over 40 years after his first tour of Japan with Stan Getz, legendary pianist Chick Corea teamed up with 30-year-old Japanese virtuoso Hiromi for an incredible 2007 performance at Tokyo's Blue Note that fully celebrates the meaning of the word used to name the resulting live double concert CD: Duet.
In his brief but colorful liner notes, Corea describes the electrifying energy of the occasion in numerical terms: 1 night, 2 pianos, 2 sets, 4 hands, 12 songs, 20 fingers, 176 keys, about 600 people in the audience and thousands of exchanged musical ideas. To offer a perspective on how long it's been since he's done an acoustic piano duo recording of this freewheeling nature, the last time he did it -- with Herbie Hancock for 1978's In Concert at the Budokan -- Hiromi wasn't even born.
A truly compelling masterwork bridging generations and cultures, Duet's first disc features a single original by each pianist (Corea's wistful and frenetic "Humpty Dumpty," Hiromi's lush, classical-jazz hybrid "Déjà Vu") and four covers from a wide range of genres, including distinctive renderings of classics by Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Antonio Carlos Jobim and The Beatles.
The second disc offers two originals each, plus a gorgeously re-imagined and re-harmonized "Summertime" and an expansive medley of Joaquin Rodrigo's 1939 classical guitar and orchestra composition "Concierto de Aranjuez" with Corea's own classic, "Spain." Hiromi first played with Corea as a 17 year old, and the two followed the 2007 Japanese release of Duet with another dual performance, this one before 5,500 at the Budokan.
Chick Corea & Hiromi, from Duet
Chick Corea, from Rendezvous In New York
I've Got Rhythm
Hiromi, from Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Beyond ...
My Old Flame
Stan Getz, from My Old Flame
Thelonious Monk, from Thelonious Himself ...
Charlie Byrd, from Plays Jobim
Chick Corea, from Solo Piano: Originals ...
in this playlist.