In his long career at the piano keys, Chick Corea has won no less than 20 Grammy awards. His latest three-CD set was drawn on live recordings in the USA, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Turkey and Japan.
Trilogy’s trio features bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade playing in winning sympathy with the piano master, as the band reinvents classic Corea compositions. There are a number of previously unreleased originals, notably the half-hour piano sonata The Moon.
The group also performs two Thelonious Monk tunes, Blue Monk and Work, both given exemplary, fresh readings. The record opens with Corea solo on piano on an old American Songbook standard, You’re My Everything (Warren, Dixon, Young) before the band join in and build up the struts of this inspirational, lively construct.
There is an air of youth about the music, joie de vivre and autumn mellowness too, with something pristine about the playing, although you are conscious throughout that these are live settings. A re-imagining of a prelude by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin is particularly fascinating.
The trio joined by flautist Jorge Pardo and guitarist Niño Josele in Madrid for a beautiful take on My Foolish Heart, which is given a large dose of Flamenco hormone therapy.
A new Corea composition piece, entitled Homage pays tribute to the late great Paco de Lucía. Warmly adventurous, yet with an air of road-tested maturity, you just have to check out Trilogy.