Chick Corea: Rendezvous in New York (2003)
As such, Rendevous in New York looks back at Chick Corea's career and marks the point of departure for his future endeavors. Historical context aside, the music here stands on its own formidable merits. The mood of the recording ranges from quiet and contemplative to fiery and energetic, and the album begins with a musical joke that I won't reveal here. Throughout, the joy, frank spirituality, and eloquence that have always graced Chick Corea's playing are front and center. It is pretty clear that Mr. Corea's collaborators viewed the opportunity to play with him as an extraordinary opportunity, and all are at or near their best. Of the 12 selections on this album, nine are standouts. Among other treats, there are contrasting takes of the classic "Concierto de Aranjuez/Spain," one with Bobby McFerrin and the other with Cuban born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, very different in mood, both beautiful.
Those new to Chick Corea's music will find this album a very sound starting point for exploring his enormous discography. However, Rendezvous in New York, true to its name, does not contain a solo performance by Corea. As a complement to performances by this great artist in units from duos to sextets, an appropriate solo piece would have been a worthy addition. That said, because Mr. Corea brought out the best in his collaborators, the appeal of this recording goes well beyond piano jazz aficionados. Rendezvous in New York may have been Chick Corea's birthday party, but the gifts were for us.
This review originally appeared in All About Jazz-New York June 2003.
Track Listing: 1. Armando's Rhumba performed by Corea / Bobby McFerrin - 4:58 2. Blue Monk performed by Corea / Bobby McFerrin - 5:34 3. Concierto de Aranjuez/Spain performed by Corea / Bobby McFerrin - 8:14 4. Matrix performed by Now He Sings, Now He Sobs Trio - 10:47 5. Glass Enclosure/Tempus Fugit performed by Remembering Bud Powell Band - 16:10 6. Crystal Silence performed by Corea / Gary Burton - 10:01 7. Bessie's Blues performed by Corea, Chick Akoustic Band - 8:37 8. Autumn Leaves performed by Corea, Chick Akoustic Band - 11:35 9. Armando's Tango performed by Origin - 12:10 10. Concierto de Aranjuez performed by Corea / Gonzalo Rubalcaba - 13:25 11. Lifeline performed by Corea, Chick New Trio - 12:02 12. Quartet No. 2, Pt. 1 performed by Three Quarters Band - 11:42
Personnel: Michael Brecker, Gary Burton, Eddie Gomez, Bobby McFerrin, John Patitucci, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Miroslav Vitous, Steve Wilson, Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Chaka Khan, Chick Corea, B
Record Label: Concord Music Group