Chick Corea / John McLaughlin: Five Peace Band Live (2009)
Comparing FPB with McLaughlin's 4th Dimension group, the two tracks covered by both bands yield significant differences. The fiery "Raju" doesn't change much, though Garrett nearly blows the roof off whatever venue it was recorded in, lending considerably more weight to the song. Colaiuta and McBride are equally powerful, while Corea's personality gives the tune some additional harmonic movement.
"Senor C.S.," on the other hand, is reimagined as a high velocity samba, beginning with a Corea/McLaughlin duet that demonstrates the simpatico bond that makes this pairing long overdue. Despite McLaughlin's lightning-fast yet always lyrical delivery, it recalls Corea's early, Latin-esque Return to Foreveralthough the late Joe Farrell never played with as much unbridled passion as Garrett, who comes close to stealing the show from Corea and McLaughlin on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, "New Bruise, Old Blues," from Industrial Zen (Verve, 2006), is as funky as FPB gets, with one of Corea's most visceral synth solos of the set.
If McLaughlin's tunes are more fusion-centric, Corea's two contributions take FPB closer to the modern mainstream, with "The Disguise" more down-the-middle, but proofas if any was neededthat McLaughlin can still work that turf with ease. "Hymn to Andromeda" begins freely, Corea working in and out of the piano box as McBride enters to deliver a poignant arco solo before the rest of the group joins to gradually move into modal territory, with Garrett delivering another set highlight, gradually building his solo as the band coalesces and intensifies behind him.
guesting to create an ethereal electric piano cushion before the band enters in the more propulsive second half, with McLaughlin proving himself as able an accompanist as he is an evocative soloist.
Alongside a quirky rearrangement of Jackie McLean's "Dr. Jackle" and a closing Corea/McLaughlin duet on "Someday My Prince Will Come," the group pays tribute to Miles on a lengthy, more open-ended rework of "In a Silent Way/It's About That Time," with Herbie Hancock
Running the gamut from straight-ahead to balls-out fusion, Five Peace Band Live is a rare opportunity to hear two masters create something that references both of their careers but combines to create something with its own distinct personality.
Track Listing: CD1: Raju; The Disguise; New Blues, Old Bruise; Hymn to Andromeda. CD2: Dr. Jackle; Senor C.S.; In a Silent Way/It's About That Time; Someday My Prince Will Come.
Personnel: Chick Corea: piano, keyboards; John McLaughlin: guitar; Kenny Garrett: saxophone; Christian McBride: acoustic and electric basses; Vinnie Colaiuta: drums; Herbie Hancock: piano (CD2#3).
Record Label: Stretch Records
Style: Modern Jazz