Of all the great jazz piano masters Chick Corea is one of the most prolific, regularly releasing albums and so while you can never take him for granted a new Chick Corea album is not a rare occurrence. But unlike say Keith Jarrett, Chick's solo outings (not withstanding on this new record a couple of duets with Yaron Herman and Charles Heisser) are not his year-in year-out speciality. Plays is a live recorded wide ranging mix with Mozart, Scarlatti, Scriabin and Chopin in the selection alongside material by Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Jobim, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern and Stevie Wonder plus tracks from Corea's 'Children’s Songs. Corea is agile and as fluent as ever. You won't be coming to the album for morbid introspection or harrowing interior vision (Corea laps up chatting to his audiences and so there is a companionable side to his approach throughout) but instead above all for the joy in the playing and his astonishing ability as an improviser condensed in this generous and often celebratory 2 CD set. Out now on Concord.
Tags: Album reviews