Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley

David Hadley Ray By

Sign in to view read count
Corea/Gadd Band
Blues Alley
Washington D.C.
October 16, 2017

On an unusually warm evening in October, Chick Corea and Steve Gadd arrived in Washington D.C. for a highly anticipated residency at Blues Alley. The lineup was comprised of Luisito Quintero (percussion), Carlitos del Puerto (acoustic and electric bass), Lionel Loueke (guitar), Steve Wilson (saxophone), Steve Gadd (drums), and Chick Corea (acoustic and electric piano). Chick Corea and Steve Gadd showed that incredible technique is best exhibited in service of the composition. The symbiosis between Gadd and Corea can only be described as "telepathic."

The arrangements allowed everything to breathe in perfect unison. Chick Corea's intuitive acumen supporting the soloists in conjunction with the communication between the group was fantastic. Del Puerto impressed with the ease in which he moved between upright and electric bass. His phrasing was tasteful and his intonation never wavered. Gadd, whether laying down some patented grooves, or lending support seemed to always be near the center of attention without ever trying to be due to his experience, his taste, and the otherworldly control he exhibits near effortlessly. Guitarist Lionel Loueke, standing stage center, created solos that were well developed, steeped in the tradition akin to Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery. His playing was imbued with taste and his tone and use of effects was appropriately understated when necessary. The same can be said for saxophonist Steve Wilson. His embellishments and ideas were perfectly aligned with the rest of the group. The unit came across as a well oiled machine. The impression you have upon first hearing them is that they have logged some miles and that this is a seriously muscular unit.

The songs performed were "Humpty Dumpty," "A Spanish Song," "Chinese Butterfly," "Return to Forever," and "Spain." "Humpty Dumpty" was the opening song, and was a precursor of the technical and emotional rollercoaster forthcoming. "A Spanish Song" showcased a tasteful guitar solo that was especially noteworthy of its construction. It was alive, living, and growing chorus after chorus. His ideas, clear and executed with razor-sharp precision were organic in presentation. At the song's conclusion, there was a polyrhythmic flurry that beautifully led into an Afro-Cuban rhythm. The percussionist, Luisito Quintero exhibited substantial panache and feel when given the spotlight during this song. The colors he added to the evening consisted of everything from jungle sounds, rocks falling, crickets, wind, and rain. Conjuring images with a myriad of features to the forefront of your mind. "Return to Forever" gave a nod to Corea's historic work with the band of the same name. The set took on a more "electric" vibe and the audience sang along to parts of the melody. In my notes, I described the groove as "evil, solid and hypnotic." The encore of the evening was "Spain." As expected, Corea, the veteran musicologist worked the audience like a puppeteer, using his skills to engage and entertain. Chick Corea cajoled the audience to participate in a class known as "ear training." He preceded to play a melody and asked the audience to sing it back in unison. The classroom performed wonderfully, and the instructor smiled at the class with apparent satisfaction.



comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Chick Corea with Christian McBride and Brian Blade
Schmidtchen Theater
Cape May, NJ
Chick Corea & Béla Fleck Duet
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts (University of Connecticut)
Storrs, CT
Chick Corea And Bela Fleck
Tilles Center Concert Hall
Brookville, NY
Chick Corea, Béla Fleck
Keswick Theatre
Glenside, PA
Chick Corea, Béla Fleck
Majestic Theatre
Dallas, TX
Chick Corea
Music Center At Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD
Chick Corea
Amp By Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Kevin Bales With Chuck Redd At The Jazz Corner
By Martin McFie
January 21, 2019
Live Reviews
Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater
By Mike Jurkovic
January 18, 2019
Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
By Victor L. Schermer
January 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 10, 2019
Live Reviews
The Los Cabos Jazz Experience 2018
By Wendy Ross
January 5, 2019