Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NYTimes: The Jazz Chameleon, in All His Colors


Chick Corea, the ebullient and eternally youthful pianist, bandleader and composer, turned 70 this year. Being a jazz musician, he’s bound by custom to celebrate this mile marker on the bandstand, aglow in retrospection. Had there been a corporate-sponsored jazz festival in New York this summer, he probably would have headlined Carnegie Hall sometime around his birthday, on June 12. Instead he’s taking over the Blue Note for most of November, beginning on Tuesday: two sets a night, in 10 different configurations, with collaborators old and new. It’s the more fitting option by far.

Mr. Corea has trained his public to expect nothing less of him. His career is among the most kaleidoscopic in jazz, encircling everything from plunging postbop to chamberesque Latin hybridism to superheated fusion. He’s among the most productive figures of jazz’s last 40 years, a worthy luminary with the instincts of a tinkerer, more committed to inquiry than to resolution.

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