Jazz CD Reviews

Chick Corea – Solo Piano Improvisations 1 & 2; Children’s Songs – ECM (3-CDs)

This boxed set brings together all of Chick’s early solo piano recordings, and is well-timed since the pianist is again playing some solo concerts.

Published on April 15, 2010

Chick Corea – Solo Piano Improvisations 1 & 2; Children’s Songs – ECM (3-CDs)

Chick Corea – Solo Piano Improvisations 1 & 2; Children’s Songs – ECM 3-CD Set 2140-42 (Distr. by Universal) *****:

ECM has been going back thru their huge catalog from time to time and assembling some excellent reissue packages. This is one of them. Corea first recorded his solo piano improvisations in April of 1971 and I believe that was one of the label’s first releases. He did a sequel in 1972 and then in 1984 he recorded his lovely little 20 Children’s Songs (which we recently reviewed in a chamber music version).

This boxed set brings together all of Chick’s early solo piano recordings, and is well-timed since the pianist is again playing some solo concerts. The first volume was a very big hit at the time, and the newly-remastered discs are first rate, though not appreciably superior to the originals. There are some new statements from Chick in the supplied note booklet, in which he speaks of the the time of recording these three albums having been an intense period of discovery for him. He had done the first recording session entirely off the cuff, as improvisations he worked out in the studio, adding titles for them later.

He created his later Children’s Songs when he was at home off the road. He became interested in creating musical portraits and the various wide-eyed moods of children were his favorite subjects. After he wrote them he had to learn how to properly perform them as a pianist. When he had recorded all 20 there was still some time left for the LP release so he quickly penned the five-minute trio piece Addendum for piano, violin and cello – which he dedicated to ECM’s Manfred Eicher.

I saw Chick’s short list of solo pianists whose playing had been inspiring to him before I realized he had written new notes for this reissue. It did occur to me how could he be mentioning pianists like Evgeny Kissin, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Stefano Bollani in the 70s or 80s?  Those latter two might well list Corea as one of their inspirations. There are also some photos of Chick taken around the time of the original recordings. This is an important collection of solo jazz improvisations by one of the masters.

TrackList:

Disc: 1
1. Noon Song
2. Song For Sally
3. Ballad For Anna
4. Song Of The Wind
5. Sometime AgoWhere Are You Now? – A Suite Of Eight Pictures
6. Picture 1
7. Picture 2
8. Picture 3
9. Picture 4
10. Picture 5
11. Picture 6
12. Picture 7
13. Picture 8

Disc: 2
1. After Noon Song
2. Song For Lee Lee
3. Song For Thad
4. Trinkle Tinkle
5. Masquelero
6. Preparation 1
7. Preparation 2
8. Departure From Planet Earth A New Place
9. Arrival
10. Scenery
11. Imps Walk
12. Rest

Disc: 3
1. No. 1
2. No. 2
3. No. 3
4. No. 4
5. No. 5
6. No. 6
7. No. 7
8. No. 8
9. No. 9
10. No. 10
11. No. 11
12. No. 12
13. No. 13
14. No. 14
15. No. 15
16. No. 16+17
17. No. 18
18. No. 19
19. No. 20
Addendum

 – John Henry




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