Chick Corea - Solo Piano Portraits
CHICK COREA
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JAZZ LEGEND CHICK COREA CONTINUES HIS INNOVATIVE TRADITION WITH A GENRE-SHATTERING 2-CD SOLO PIANO RELEASE

Solo Piano: Portraits features Corea classics, music from Thelonious Monk, Stevie Wonder, Béla Bartók and much more, as well as improvisations that paint musical "portraits" of audience members from around the world

Solo Piano: Portraits is an extraordinary audio document, a rare opportunity to hear Chick Corea, one of the most legendary jazz artists of his generation, in a compelling, insightful overview -- spoken and played -- of the intimate aspects of his art. (International release dates may vary)

When Chick recorded Piano Improvisations on the ECM label in 1971, he was one of the first jazz pianists of his era to release such a recording. The groundbreaking album literally opened the floodgates to a new genre of solo piano that continues strong today.

In 2014, Chick will be releasing this new solo CD set and embarking upon a world tour with a presentation that is as fresh and innovative as ever. With a perfect balance of in-the-moment improvisation, Corea classics, jazz standards, classical renderings and the inimitable Children's Songs, it is a must-see concert if there ever was one.

The roots of the album trace to the warm interaction Chick has always had with his concert audiences. Thus the title of the CD set.

"I've always found it difficult," he says, "to just walk on stage, sit down at the piano and just play, without talking to the audience. Maybe I should try that some time, but I don't know how to do it yet. What I really do is try to create kind of a living room atmosphere in the concert hall itself."

In his desire to enhance that environment, he began to invite audience members on stage and offer to do individual musical portraits of each.

"We place a chair beside the piano," Chick recalls, "and a volunteer comes up, not exactly knowing what's going to happen, I watch the way they walk, how they're dressed, etcetera, I ask their name and then try to define who they are in an improvised solo."

On the new album, Chick begins to take a similar path in the first disc with "Chick Talks: About Solo Piano," a thoughtful spoken narrative about the unique and special qualities of solo jazz piano playing. He follows his remarks with an in-performance presentation of those qualities via his version of the standard "How Deep Is the Ocean?"

Having expressed his own illuminating view of the inventive potentials of solo piano jazz, Chick digs deeply into Portraits with a series of paired tracks, recorded in various cities around the world. With each, he discusses his views regarding the work of a group of legendary jazz figures, followed by his own solo excursions through some of their familiar originals and interpretations.

However, the Portraits of Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Steve Wonder, Bud Powell etc. were not, according to Chick, created as portraits comparable to those he creates with audience members.

"I see the Bill Evans, Monk, etc. pieces," he says, "as something more than portraits. They're really more like interpretations of their music."
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