Chick Corea Elektric Band: To The Stars (2004)
The fiction of L. Ron Hubbard provided the inspiration for this new album. Chick Corea wrote the music to express his feelings about the adventures and the mysticism that surrounds the writer's intergalactic spirit.
Corea's Elektric Band is in fine form. With guests, they interpret each scene with characteristic authority. Samba, mambo, tango, calypso, and other hip rhythms carry them on a contemporary adventure of funk and groove.
Frank Gambale forges a searing rite of passage on "Johnny's Landing," followed by Eric Marienthal's soulful tenor outing. Both front line artists capture the distinct impression that comes with deep space adventure. Bass and drums surround each scene with mesmerizing shades that never fade. The session remains in high gear, for the most part, with the Elektric Band's batteries on full charge.
Corea provides lovely "Port Views," numbered 1 through 7, which reflect the dreamy quality associated with space travel. Without rude awakenings, these keyboard and electric guitar interludes exhibit a gentle spirit that connects Corea's imaginary outer space adventures casually.
An acoustic piece, "Alan Corday," features classical guitar impressions of the majesty that history has brought us from Spain; as well as an impressive upright bass solo, spotlights from both saxophonists, and a cohesive scene of peace. "Hound of Heaven" contrasts that idea with a funk-driven episode where the band's electronic lights are all ablaze. Party time becomes a cause for joyous celebration. From a distant Spain, the ensemble has charged into the waters of the Caribbean and then on to Rio.
Corea has given us a full volume of contemporary jazz to accompany our reading pleasure. His fiery piano and keyboard interpretation of "The Long Passage" tells the story quite well. He and his ensemble take us to the stars and back with their exciting musical descriptions.
Track Listing: Check Blast; Port View 1; Mistress Luck - A Portrait; Mistress Luck - The Party; Port View 2; Johnny's Landing; Port View 3; Alan Corday; Port View 4; Hound of Heaven; Port View 5; The Long Passage; Port View 6; Jocelyn - The Commander; Port View 7; Captain Jocelyn - Tribute by His Crew; Captain Jocelyn - the Pianist.
Personnel: Chick Corea Elektric Band: Chick Corea- keyboards, piano; Frank Gambale- guitar; Eric Marienthal- saxophone; John Patitucci- bass; Dave Weckl- drums; Guests: Steve Wilson- saxophone; Pernell Saturnino- percussion; Gayle Moran Corea- vocals on "The Long Passage."