Chick Corea & Gary Burton: Hot House

The Songs:

  1. Can’t We Be Friends
  2. Eleanor Rigby
  3. Chega de Saudade
  4. Time Remembered
  5. Hot House
  6. Strange Meadow Lark
  7. Light Blue
  8. Once I Loved
  9. My Ship
  10. Mozart Goes Dancing

Personnel:

  • Chick Corea – piano
  • Gary Burton – vibraphone
  • The Harlem String Quartet: Ilmar Gavilan, Melissa White – violins; Juan Miguel Hernandez – viola; Paul Wiancko – cello

This edition of “Album of the Week” is in honor of the recent appearance here in Wichita of these two jazz legends, who are celebrating the 40th year of their duo partnership, which began with 1972’s Crystal Silence. The duo had previously produced 7 albums of original material, mostly by Corea. With this newest release, they investigate a rather eclectic assortment of covers, ranging from Kurt Weill to the Beatles. Much of the album is drawn from jazz piano royalty, including Art Tatum, Tadd Dameron, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, and Bill Evans. Other notable performances include two compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Both Burton and Corea played in Stan Getz’s groups in the 60’s, which introduced Jobim’s music to American audiences.) My money is on Corea’s highly inventive arrangement of “Eleanor Rigby” to win a Grammy for either Best Jazz Arrangement or Best Jazz Performance.

“Mozart Goes Dancing” live in Wichita, 9/28/2012

The disc ends with a new Corea composition which gives a nod to his occasional dabbling in the Classical world, “Mozart Goes Dancing.” It includes the Harlem String Quartet. 30 years ago, Corea & Burton recorded the ground-breaking Lyric Suite for the same combination of instruments. I was fortunate enough to see them on that tour and get to hear them dust off several movements of it for their concert here. The same magical chemistry that they established 40 years ago has not dimmed at all and plans are already in the works to record an entire new album with the Harlem String Quartet. If if has even half of the virtuosity and creativity of this album, it will still be a standout. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Viewing:

Chick Corea & Gary Burton. Rendezvous In New York: Duet.

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