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Anyone still needing dogged proof that the late Chick Corea (in September 2021 it feels like ages since he passed, but it was only February) ever played anything less than a joyful note best have their cursor hovering over the purchase button when Chick Corea Akoustic Band Live drops.
On this first posthumous release, Corea (sort of) reunites the muscle of The Chick Corea Elektric Band with his totally simpatico rhythm section, namely bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl for some truly spirited hijinks. An effusive two hour, two CD set recorded hot and wiry in January 2018 at the SPC Music Hall in St. Petersburg, Fla., it immediately becomes apparent from the jump started romp on Corea's "Morning Sprit" that this will quickly realize itself as a show you wish you could have attended. But wasn't that the sole purpose, the whole glorious mission of the Akoustic Band when they first sparked fire in 1989? Spirited, animated, joyful celebrations of the music of human experience?
Graceful, gleeful and in high gear from the get go, the energy never lapses. Leaping and bounding, the trio brings new life to some of the longest running standards in anyone's setlist"In a Sentimental Mood," "That Old Feeling," even "On Green Dolphin Street,"and injects them with a sinewy new invention.
"Humpty Dumpty" appears twice, each with a flaring dynamic all its sweet-ass own. Patitucci's inspired, reverberant bowing introduces "Eternal Child" and the trio cruise over the tune with the same thrill and undiminished fire as when they first took it on in 1988 with the Elektric Band. "Monk's Mood" is as investigative as ever. As he was fond of doing, Chick brings out the missus, Gayle Moran Corea, and closes this exceptional set withReturn to Forever's 1973 ballad "You're Everything." Another four stars in a galaxy of them.
Disc 1: Morning Sprite; Japanese Waltz; That Old Feeling; In a Sentimental Mood; Rhumba
Summer Night; Humpty Dumpty.
Disc 2: On Green Dolphin Street; Eternal Child; You and the Night and the Music; Monk’s Mood;
Humpty Dumpty (Set 2); You’re Everything (featuring Gayle Moran Corea).