As we huddle and binge on our national and moral failings, having as buoyant and engaging an artist come into our homes, as Chick Corea
does on Plays
, is simply a great, beautiful thing, and one of the core reasons that, even in the face of the daily ire, the majority of us hold tight the better part of ourselves in order to share it with the greater whole.
It is not a matter of greatest performance of this or that or whatever, it is a matter of the honesty ringing forth as Corea, seemingly without effort, glides, leaps and bounds, across a host of his inspirations. Featuring agile illuminations of, among others, Scarlatti, Chopin, Bill Evans
, George Gershwin
, Antonio Carlos Jobim
, Stevie Wonder
, Thelonious Monk
, Corea, his ageless touch and positivity on full display, crafts a shimmering Indra's web that connects the life force that composer has given to the player so that he can now connect deeply with his thankful audience. Music to feel, dance with, make love with, and create.
But that doesn't make any of Plays
twenty-six performances (it's a double disc set) background music to the new normal. This gig plays like you're sitting (or standing) in any of the venues where this witty, whimsical set of animated miniatures was captured for posterity. A sincerely warm host, Corea explains his thinking that delights in pairing Mozart with Gershwin, Evans with Jobim. He spontaneously creates tone poems for two audience members. He improvises with two other audience participants who, it was later discovered, were French pianist Charles Heisser, and French-Israeli jazz pianist Yaron Herman
. His Cirque du Soleil-styled ballet through three by Monk, "Pannonica," "Trinkle Tinkle," "Blue Monk," deliciously sum up the whole of Plays
: It's great to be alive and listening.
Disc 1: Chick Talks Mozart and Gershwin; Mozart: Piano Sonata in F, KV332 (2nd Part - Adagio); Someone to
Watch Over Me; Improvisation on Scarlatti; Scarlatti: Sonata in D minor K9, L413 Allegro; Yesterdays; Chick Talks
Bill Evans and Antonio Jobim; Waltz for Debby; Desafinado; Chopin: Prelude Op. 28 #4; Scriabin: Prelude Op.11
(Part 1) #4; Chick Talks Monk; Pannonica; Trinkle Tinkle; Blue Monk.
Disc 2: Pastime Paradise; Chick Talks Paco; The Yellow Nimbus; Chick Talks Portraits; Portrait: Henrietta; Portrait:
Chris; Chick Talks Duets; Duet: Yaron; Duet: Charles; Chick Talks Children's Songs; Children's Song No. 1;
Children's Song No. 3; Children's Song No. 4; Children's Song No. 9; Children's Song No. 10; Children's Song No.
15; Children's Song No. 17; Children's Song No. 12.