Chick Corea / Gary Burton: San Diego, USA, March 1, 2011
Corea then took to the microphone to introduce the set's penultimate tune, a reading of "My Ship," inspired by the Miles Davis-Gil Evans collaboration. This was an inspired choice, as the pianist led off with ruminative left-hand rumblings before launching into the classic melody. There were long unison passages between the two, and Corea's solo actually spelled a bit of McCoy Tyner, while always illuminating the memorable harmonies.
The evening came to a close with a wild journey through a Return To Forever staple, the title track to No Mystery (Polydor, 1975). Despite another expansive arrangement, there was enough familiarity to keep the sight-reading less obvious. Its well-known staccato theme was performed in perfect unison, lock-step, and the treatment featured insanely fast trading between the two. There were whiplash solo statements and contrapuntal segments that brought the best of the 1970s to the fore.
That was supposed to be it, but the crowd, which had been wildly enthusiastic throughout the entire concert, would not be denied. After several moments of ensemble-clapping, Burton and Corea returned to play an unnamed fusion tour-de-force, which actually upped the ante on virtuosic unison fireworks. It seemed impossible that two human beings could play such intricately melodic material, at that speed, in unison. The impossible was, however, clearly familiar territory for Corea and Burton.