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Catalina’s Bar & Grill Los Angeles, CA December 17, 2000
The holiday season is tinged with varied emotions best expressed in music. Wonder, awe, gaiety and warmth all emanated from the standing room only audience at Catalina’s Bar & Grill in Los Angeles, California on December 17th, 2000 for The Chick Corea Trio. The songs Corea painted on the audience's hearts were absent of pain and tragedy and the emotional depth he lends to his piano mastery is perhaps the main reason his audiences continue to appreciate him, year after year. Chick Corea greeted the audience with appeal and charm and instantly mesmerized us with “It Could Happen To You.” Joined by the great bassist, Avishai Cohen and the skillful percussionist and drummer, Jeff Ballard, Corea whispered the theme and found agreeable expressions from Cohen and Ballard in pensive pizzicato chops and sensitive brushwork. “But Beautiful,” fulfilled the audience’s desires for Corea's piano mastery and featured many of his magnificent acoustic grand piano resources. The melody was graceful and moving. The trio also played selections from their upcoming release, PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE. One truly great song is “Cloud Candy,” a hard, bop happening that had the crowd bopping in their seats. The solos by the trio on “Dignity” were met with blazing applause as the riffs going down filled the room with excitement. The crowd went wild for Avishai’s stellar solo. His relationship with his acoustic bass is a sight to behold as he thumped and pulled a set of riffs that were acoustically awesome. Jeff Ballard smoked on his solo on “The Revolving Door.” They ended the set with “Europa Flamenco,” with Corea playing beautifully and adding percussion on this lively Latin jam. The trio played an encore that showed their specialties, blazing apart and blended together. A standing ovation showed just how much we enjoyed ourselves. The international crowd heard a set they can put away in their hearts for years because the Chick Corea Trio played from their hearts. Chick Corea’s masterful playing and excellent compositions came to life with just the right rhythm section in Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard. If you ever have the chance to see them, don’t miss them!
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.