Chick Corea, the jazz legend, died a few days ago at the age of 79. Unfortunately, the cause of death was a recently discovered rare form of cancer. I don’t know what you mean by “art forms“, but if you look for the definition of “sound art” in the dictionary, you will certainly find Miles “Electric” Davis’ photo at its place.
What does he have to do with Chick Corea? There are plenty of affinities. Miles is another legend of Jazz, we already knew this but his career shows us many other interesting aspects. The thing that interests us most (today) is the impact his career has had on the other artists who have supported him over the years.
His creativity for what concerns innovation and sound research, almost irrational-scientist like, is unique. All the musicians he has worked with reiterate the phrase: «Meeting someone like him… is something that not only happens once in a lifetime, but also once in history».
Chick Corea, who signed the most important stylistic change in music, was one of those who said that phrase.
They also gave birth to the fusion genre.
August 29, 1970 at the Isle of Wight for his Festival with Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, Gary Bartz and Dave Holland was the starting date of all this. Three pounds for admission and 50,000 payers to witness an event that would go down in history. Small detail. That used to be an exclusively rock festival and had only hosted rock bands until that moment. It was nicknamed as “the new Woodstock” and the audience was not of the kind you find at La Scala in Milan, they were very demanding.
Among the non-paying people there were also Joni Mitchell (criticized on stage) and Carlos Santana (who was very moved during Miles’ performance), Chick and the others.
Experimental, electric and perfect on improvisations with classic jazz instruments, except for one by Chick Corea, the fender rhodes piano.
An instrument never seen before during the live performances of the boy who wrote Blu In Green. The sound change, however, took place definitively a few years earlier thanks to the marriage with Betty Mabry.
Literally the woman, or “the buttocks” as she declared, who invented the “fusion”. This is another beautiful story on which we will return in the future, but Filles de Kilimanjaro, the most criticized record by M.D., hosts just “Mademoiselle Mabry” on the cover.
Together with Chick Corea they sowed the first seed of a modern Jazz; far from the rhythms of New Orleans.
During this impossible marriage with Betty, she herself introduced him to Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. Two of the most innovative and unique artists of those years, who experimented with the electronic world, between funk and rock.
Chick Corea was already playing the electric piano and, following the quarrel between Miles and his historical pianist Herbie “Hank” Hancock, he joined the “Second Great Quintet”
Bitches Brew record, in 1970, by Miles Davis opened a new space for the voice in jazz and Chick was one of the main protagonists.We advise you to watch his story in the documentary: Miles elettric: A Different Kind of Blue.
Chick in his career with his records and with his hands on those black and white keys, has always given life to something that has generated emotions never felt before.
For this Monday Song playlist, we have chosen songs that have influenced and generated other songs by other artists in other genres. Just how Chick’s career began, with the love and fascination for the new.