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The Artistry of Chick Corea
Chick Corea is truly another genius that emerged from the creative and innovative 60's era. He is truly a powerful composer and feels as comfortable with an acoustic layout as he does with an electronic one. A true stylist of his era, there is relatively no area in jazz left untouched by this new age maestro. His talent is of such magnitude, that it ushered in a whole new concept of the universal keyboardist to emerge. Nothing with ebony or ivory keys has escaped his scrutiny, and his curiosity seems to know no boundaries.
At prodigy at age four, he was influence by the likes of Bud Powell and Horace Silver. But like every true visionary, he studied the masters-and then avoided their influences. This is the ability to move beyond and forge a unique style and voice. Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan were all pivotal influences on the masterful pianist.
Chick Corea was invited By Miles Davis to take the place of Herbie Hancock, as the former moved onto other creative endeavors. As usual, Miles made sure that his own creative genius was stamped into the consciousness of every musician he came across and worked with. Chick made the cut, and was able to transition into electronic jazz at the encouragement of Miles. His most notable performance with Mile was the collaboration of Bitches Brew. It's interesting to note the effect that Miles Davis had on so many musicians and their decisions to experiment with freestyle jazz.
Chick Corea's formation of the group Return To Forever, is perhaps the hallmark stride of his ever-evolving career. Stanley Clarke, Al Dimeola, and Lenny White were all highly talented and respected names in their own right. Each one is still moving forward and pushing the envelope on other projects.
True creative expression always comes full circle it seems. In the latter years, Chick has returned to his mighty acoustic roots and can be found playing themes from Monk to the classical genres he studied in his youth. It is an extraordinary event to see both Herbie and Chick on the same stage performing. It's as if two creative universes have merged for a brief moment, and even greater than the event itself is the wonder that ones breath can be held for so long.
Genius seems to come into the world in clusters no matter what the field of endeavor. Look at those who blazed trails immediately ahead of Chick, and then reason that Chick's own authentication is but one more marker on a pathway of pure creative talent.