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Beyond the stars

Chick Corea performed at L’Auditori in the 47th Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona. The room, however, was not filled but we can say that the excitement among attendees was magnificent. One could breathe a great night atmosphere, the previous moments just before of an enormous talent released . You can not say that it is understandable because Corea is a key figure in contemporary jazz.

Once he appeared on stage, the audience showed his enthusiasm. Corea started then to take pictures of the photographers and the laughter was general. Then a little ironic he said "You’ll be here just for five minutes, right?". A photographer replied, "Ten" and Corea, giving a half-smile, said "Seven!". He then reminded his Hispanic origins recalling that his real name is Armando Antonio Corea and leading to a litany of Latin and Spanish sounds. He introduced the excellent musicians who accompanied him, The Vigil, with whom he recorded the self-titled album The Vigil (2013). They are: Carlitos Del Puerto (bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums), Luisito Quintero (percussion), Tim Garland (sax, flute and clarinet) and Charles Height (guitar).

The concert began with the memory of Bud Powell, his great influence as indicated by the great album Remembering Bud Powell released in 1997. The theme however date from 1974 although in the auditorium was dressed longer, more than twenty minutes, with juicy dialogues between drums and percussion. Big Luisito Quintero, very big. The second round went to the album The Vigil, specifically to the theme Royalty whose performance was delicious intimate, intense, palpable heat. Before playing  Anna's tango, Corea explained how he commissioned music for a film with tango as a reference. He tried to enter as he could in  tango music, Gardel and company, but once he presented the new compositions to the director, he played a very old record, from the thirties probably, with a gradient sound, and said: "Do not it might sound like this? ". Finally, the director used those old recordings for the film although Corea had already composed several pieces. Just after that story was explained, he dedicated to his mother Anna's tango with an ending in which  Carlitos del Puerto and Tim Garland really flashed.Then Corea wanted to remind the Spanish music, flamenco specifically. He explained how a friend from Barcelona  introduced him to this music getting to know and establish friendship with Paco de Lucia, to who Corea wanted to remember calling to join the band on stage that good friend from Barcelona: Carles Benavent. The ovation from the audience was magnificent, as large as the figure of maestro Benavent deserves. They played a version of the theme Zyriab and its result was really a gift, and looks of Carlitos del Puerto to maestro Benavent while they were playing thumb to thumb were of authentic happiness and admiration. The said goodbye but returned to play a plus encore, the theme Spain in which Tim Garland played a solo that will never leave me. Magnificent!

An article by Juan Carlos Romero
Chick Corea website
Photo courtesy of The Project and Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona
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