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Chick Corea & Gary Burton: Live at Montreux 1997

Jerry D'Souza By

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Chick Corea and Gary Burton
Live at Montreux 1997
Eagle Vision
2006/1997

When Chick Corea and Gary Burton got together to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1997, they were no strangers. They had recorded Crystal Silence in 1972 and then went on to three more recording collaborations. In both their minds, they could play as a duo in an instant, and when the opportunity came at Montreux, they rekindled the old flame and set the night afire.

Much of the program is devoted to the music from Native Sense: The New Duets, the album they had just recorded. They open with Corea's "Love Castle, which Corea reworks for a duet, the original version having been interpreted by a big band on My Spanish Heart. The arrangement tight-locks both musicians, each bringing a passion into play that gives the tune a full-bodied dimension suggestive of the original.

However, it is on the next selection that they really turn on the heat. "Native Sense dances in on a delectable melody. Corea opens the theme, feeds it with a gentle swell of ideas and lays down the chords that are a springboard for the sparkling brilliance of Burton, whose notes sustain and expand the appeal of the song. Next, Corea introduces "Tango '92 with an anecdote about a movie project on the tango to which he was asked to contribute the music. He wrote the piece, he explains, though it wasn't used. The composition glides in sensuality, as well a tango should. It also has two musicians whose harmonies enrich the song beyond the typical tango.

Both Corea and Burton have their individual musical quirks, but the way they read each other and empathize makes listening to them a veritable pleasure. The photography and the editing on the DVD are top-notch, making their hour-long concert a joy to listen to and watch, over and over.

Track listing : Love Castle; Native Sense; No Mystery; Tango '92; Rhumbata; Four in One; La Fiesta.

Personnel: Chick Corea: piano; Gary Burton: vibraphone.

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