Chick Corea The Ultimate Adventure: Live in Barcelona Concord
A mixture of Latin and Flamenco with jazz was pianist Chick Corea's strategy for this 2007 Barcelona concert from the Palau de Musica. Backed by Jorge Pardo (flute, soprano and alto sax), Carles Benavent (bass), Rubem Dantas (percussion) and Tom Brechtlein (drums), all of whom had also participated on the studio-recorded companion piece of the same name, Corea kicks off the set with the samba-inflected "North Africa," a warm-up for the far more complex "Moseb The Executioner," an expansive piece featuring Corea on Brazilian hand drum.
Egyptian tabla player Hossam Ramzy joins the group for "City of Brass," a tune inspired by one of the many tales from Arabian Nights, in which a group of travelers finds a seemingly impenetrable city and attempts to storm it. Corea clearly draws from Middle-Eastern influences, using complicated scales to convey the story through music. On the stretched-out "Planes of Existence," the main theme is used as fodder for free improvisation; dancers Tommasito Moreno and Auxi Fernandez take center stage halfway through the tune.
"Kalimba" is sort of a brief homage to the instrument, also known as a thumb piano, subtly played by Dantas as an introduction to the final encore, a medley of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Corea's classic "Spain."
The photography and sound on the DVD are quite impressive, with expert camera work that showcases both the players and the beautiful layout of the historic venue. Among the extras on the DVD is a short promotional film on the making of the studio version of The Ultimate Adventure that features interviews with Corea among others, including drummer Steve Gadd and percussionist Airto Moreira, who tell of their history with the composer and reveal some of the stories behind the recording.
Tracks: North Africa; Moseb the Executioner; Queen Tedmur; Three Ghouls; King & Queen; City of Brass; Planes of Existence Kalimba; Spain.
Personnel: Chick Corea: piano, Motif & ES, percussion; Jorge Pardo: C Flute, soprano sax, alto flute; Carles Benavent: bass; Rubem Dantas: percussion; Tom Brechtlein: drums; Hossam Ramzy: Egyptian tabla; Auxi Fernandez & Tomasito Moreno: Flamenco dance.
Production Notes: Run Time: 121 minutes