Chick Corea is one of few jazz living legends who's Return To Forever fusion project opened stadiums for jazz in mid 70s. His early 70s collaborations with world leading experimental jazz artists as Anthony Braxton and Dave Holland (Circle and ARC projects,etc) were less successful commercially but found their place in jazz avant-garde classics hall of fame.His Latin fusion compositions are genre's classics as well.
Unfortunately starting from late 70s things weren't so successful though. In fact he didn't find a new inspiration or new direction and for decades got stuck trying to repeat previous success founding fusion bands when fusion was already old-fashioned thing (Elektric Band),flirting with third stream, new-age influenced contemporary jazz or just going more commercial. His music is always high professional and Chick released good dozen of strong albums during last three decades having large followers team till now, but even his hot fans usually speak about artist's "great seventies" with open nostalgia.
Being Corea's fan and follower for decades, I can only agree with that common opinion but there is one trick I learned (which works with many other great jazz musicians from early 70s who's music is dramatically changed influenced by the fashion of the day during 80s,90s and first decade of new century) if you want to listen best new music from your beloved musician - go Japan!
Japanese jazz market was always different from Western world's one and starting from late 70s some leading Japanese labels started regularly record and release leading Western jazz artists albums,oriented to Japanese market. The difference is far not only characteristic for Japanese recordings audiophile sound quality, main difference is music itself - in fact Japanese jazz scene stayed very conservative (probably for good in that case)and hard bop and post bop releases dominate there till now. Since late 90s it became obvious that speaking about post-70s recordings Chick Corea's best music is post-bop.His excellent techniques,great tunes and art of forming new bands all shine on his more mainstream works.Listen to Corea's post-bop album from any decade between early 80s and nowadays and almost always can be sure you're listening to his best music from that time.
Few years ago Chick released excellent series of acoustic post-bop recordings "Five Trios Series" on Universal label in Japan. It contains five albums of audiophile quality recorded by Chick with John Patitucci/Antonio Sanchez ("Dr.Joe"),Eddie Gomez/John DeJohnette ("From Miles"),Christian McBride/Jeff Ballard ("Chillin' In Chelan"),Eddie Gomez/Airto Moreira ("The Boston Three Party")and Hadrien Feraud/Richie Barshay ("Brooklyn Paris To Clearwater").Unfortunately these albums(Corea's best recorded music for years if not decades)were extremely expensive and stay almost unknown even for Corea's fans.
In 2009 Chick formed new acoustic trio with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade which during upcoming three years toured extensively US,Europe and Far East.Rooted in tradition of his previous trios from last decade, music played by this new formation is advanced groovy post bop with elements of Corea's half-century long musical legacy (Latin,avant-garde jazz,etc). Comparing with best trios,mentioned above, music played is slightly more slick and "contemporary", but the difference isn't significant, most probably it's just a small tribute to current time jazz fashion.
"Trilogy" is triple live set,collecting some material, played during 2010-2012 new trio European and Japanese tours.Chosen recordings are covering extremely wide areas what makes this (long and expensive again!) release far from being boring or overcrowded. First of three CD contains most accessible compositions,including "My Foolish Heart" and very unusual version of Corea's classics "Spain" among others.Two guests(Jorge Pardo on flute and Nino Josele on acoustic guitar) add lot of Latin flavor here. Second CD opens with Kurt Weill "This Is New" and is not so much different from the former, but besides of well known "Armando's Rhumba" contains ten minutes long Scriabin's "Op.11,No.9".Third CD is most unusual and contains only three compositions,varying between neo-classical and avant-garde jazz and including almost 30 minutes long Corea's own "Piano Sonata-The Moon".
Well completed,perfectly recorded and mixed this massive release probably contains few surprises,but for Corea's fans it's another extremely enjoyable example of great artist's music.