CHICK COREA — Circling In (Circle)

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CHICK COREA - Circling In (Circle) cover
4.43 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1975


A1 Bossa 4:45
A2 Gemini 4:17
A3 My One and Only Love 3:33
A4 Fragments 4:01
A5 Windows 3:08
B1 Samba Yanta 2:38
B2 I Don't Know 2:38
B3 Pannonica 2:58
B4 Blues Connotation 7:17
B5 Duet for Bass and Piano No.1 3:28
B6 Duet for Bass and Piano No.2 1:40
C1 Starp 5:20
C2 73 Degrees - A. Kelvin 9:09
C3 Ballad 6:41
D1 Danse for Clarinet and Piano No.1 2:14
D2 Danse for Clarinet and Piano No.2 2:32
D3 Chimes Part 1 10:20
D4 Chimes Part 2 6:40


Bass – Miroslav Vitous (tracks: A1 to B3);Dave Holland (all others)
Cello, Guitar – Dave Holland (tracks: B5 to D4)
Clarinet, Saxophone [Alto] – Anthony Braxton (tracks: B5 to D4)
Contrabass, Clarinet – Anthony Braxton (tracks: B5, B6, D1 to D4)
Drums – Barry Altschul (tracks: B4, C1 to C3), Roy Haynes (tracks: A1 to B3)
Flute – Anthony Braxton (tracks: C1 to C3)
Percussion – Barry Altschul (tracks: C1 to C3), Chick Corea (tracks: B5, B6, D1 to D4)
Piano – Chick Corea

About this release

Blue Note ‎– BN-LA472-H2(US)

Previously unreleased sessions

Tracks A1 to B3 recorded in New York in May, 1968.
Track B4 recorded in New York on April 7, 1970.
Tracks B5, B6, D1 to D4 recorded in New York on Oct 13, 1970.
Tracks C1 to C3 recorded in New York on Oct. 19, 1970.

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

“Circling In” is one of those thrown together albums made up of different recording sessions, and because of that it doesn’t get a lot of attention, which is a real shame because this is actually one of the better Chick Corea LPs out there. Chick has stated that sometime in the early 70s he decided to change his approach to the piano in an attempt to ‘communicate’ better with the audience. Fortunately, all of the recordings on “Circling In” come from that time before his conscious change and feature the young fiery Chick Corea who combined elements of Monk, Cecil Taylor, Eddie Palmieri and Bill Evans into one of the most notable piano styles of the late 60s. Certainly Corea continued to be a great player for the rest of his career, but his early playing will always be his best.

Side one opens this double LP set with recordings left off of the “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” LP with Roy Haynes on drums and Mirsolav Vitous on bass. I’m not sure why these recordings were left off the original “Now He Sings“ LP, because they are all excellent and are now included in the CD re-issue of the same LP. Generally these tunes are of the modern post bop variety that move in and out of free sections. The material ranges from an imaginative reading of “My One and Only Love”, to the more fragmented and dissonant “Gemini”. Side two continues with the same trio until we hit “Blues Connotation”, a fierce outside hard bop number with Dave Holland on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. The rest of side two, as well as sides three and four are filled with recordings by Corea’s short lived avant-garde group, Circle.

In keeping with the spirit of this album being an overlooked gem, the group Circle is one of the more under appreciated ensembles to ever play improvised music. The music they present on this album ranges from blistering free jazz assaults, to carefully constructed pieces that recall leading 60s concert hall composers such as Berio, Boulez and Stockhausen. Having the multi-talented Anthony Braxton on board doesn’t hurt as he and Corea both are able to easily move from the bar-room world of jazz to the highest of academia without any loss of integrity. Every track by Circle has its own unique flavor and vision, and often their performance carries a sense of de-constructive humor as well.

This was one of the first jazz albums I ever bought and its still one of my favorites. Chick was just a different pianist at this time, and after he decided to change his approach, I eventually lost interest in his playing. Because “Circling In” is a mixed bag, it does not command a high price. I would imagine some might prefer the post bop styled cuts with Roy Haynes, while others might prefer the more avant-garde Circle, but really, every track on here is excellent.

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