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100 Jazz Profiles
Chick Corea
1941 - present
Pianist. A prodigiously talented pianist and keyboard player, Corea has mastered most genres of jazz piano and has also performed parts of the classical repertoire, notably Mozart piano concerti. He is a gifted composer, having written several standards including his best-known hit Spain, but also covering stylistic territory as wide-ranging as that of his playing, from jazz, to fusion, to Latin music, to orchestral and chamber works.

Recordings made during his childhood
show his talent flowered early, and in his 20s he worked in New York with Blue Mitchell and Stan Getz, before joining Miles Davis in 1968. In Davis's band he not only experimented with electronics, but - together with bassist Dave Holland - pushed at the boundaries of free jazz. When he and Holland left Davis in 1970, they worked together with saxophonist Anthony Braxton in the free group Circle.

Then Corea formed Return to Forever
, a fusion band with strong Latin overtones helped along by the presence in the line-up of Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. The band went through a number of incarnations during the 1970s, but broke up in the early 80s. Then Corea combined a return to acoustic styles of jazz - notably his duos with Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton - with a continued interest in fusion.

In the late 80s he polarised his interests
into his Elektric band and his Akoustic band. The latter was a trio, which has always remained one of Corea's main interests. In 1998 he formed a sextet called Origin, with whom he toured and recorded for two years, before scaling down to his New Trio with bassist Avishai Cohen and drummer Jeff Ballard.

Further Reading:
Len Lyons: The Great Jazz Pianists (New York, Da Capo) 1983

Recommended CD:
Chick Corea New Trio: Past Present and Futures (Stretch SCD 9035-2)
Suggested Track: Past Present and Futures

Recommended links:
Official Chick Corea site
Chick's own site which is one of the best of any jazz musician.

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