Chick Corea Songbook

The Chick Corea Songbook

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by The Manhattan Transfer
     
 

It would be challenging for any ensemble to reinterpret the music of Chick Corea, but adding a larger vocal component did not deter the Manhattan Transfer in their attempt. Where the group picked some famous material, new pieces, and a few obscurities, this is not a comprehensive look at Corea's book. What the ensemble does offer is a wide-ranging view of Corea's more…  See more details below

Overview

It would be challenging for any ensemble to reinterpret the music of Chick Corea, but adding a larger vocal component did not deter the Manhattan Transfer in their attempt. Where the group picked some famous material, new pieces, and a few obscurities, this is not a comprehensive look at Corea's book. What the ensemble does offer is a wide-ranging view of Corea's more Latin-oriented themes, a few of the keyboardist's true cherry songs, and an expansion of where Corea's music might go if enhanced by a choir. Since Flora Purim and Gayle Moran are the only significant singers to grace Corea's music over the decades, their soaring presence has to be addressed, not to mention that the Transfer's vaunted, richly harmonic acumen is clearly present and accounted for. With assistance from keyboardist and music director Yaron Gershovsky and many guest instrumentalists (including Christian McBride, Edsel Gomez, John Benítez, and Vince Cherico), the group brings these tunes to life in a new reality. As might naturally be expected, Al Jarreau's lyrics to "Spain" show up, albeit three times -- in an adaptation of "I Can Recall" in a funky, plodding beat much slower than the original; the new composition, a five-minute "Free Samba" in choral carnival style with some counterpoint, English prose, and Corea alongside Airto joining in; and an inflated, extended version that allows everyone to fully stretch out. Pianist/arranger Fred Hersch appears on the excellent "Time's Lie" with Tim Hauser taking center stage on Neville Potter's lyric, while the kiddish "Children's Song #1" has lyrics by Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne in layers of counterpoint. "Children's Song #15" is much more spare, with Lou Marini's flute and Joe Passaro's marimba shading a one-minute wordless vocal. Then there's the most well-revered "500 Miles High," as rich angelic voices reach for the heavens in wordless refrains holding tension and a modicum of energy, again quite unlike the initial famous version done by Return to Forever with Purim. In a minimalist 6/8 metered mode, "Another Roadside Attraction" is warmer and percussion-driven, while Hauser again steps away from the others for his wordsmithing during "One Step Closer," a swinger with finger snaps and the whistling of Hi-Lo's veteran Don Shelton. A take on "Armando's Rhumba" retitled "The Story of Anna & Armando" for Corea's parents has Siegel's delightful lead extravagantly expressing gratitude. As ambitious as this project is, with Corea's full blessing and endorsement, it falls short of being essential. Nonetheless, it is pleasing from start to finish, quaint and charming in its own way.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/29/2009
Label:
Four Quarters Ent
UPC:
0822545181927
catalogNumber:
1819
Rank:
186262

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Manhattan Transfer   Primary Artist
Ronnie Cuber   Baritone Saxophone
Fred Hersch   Piano
Janis Siegel   Vocals,Finger Snapping,Group Member
Cheryl Bentyne   Group Member
Billy Drummond   Drums
Alex Acuña   Percussion
John Benítez   Electric Bass,Vocals,Coro
Jack Bryant   Handbells
Yaron Gershovsky   Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,fender rhodes
Tim Hauser   Finger Snapping,Group Member
Conrad Herwig   Trombone
Scott Kinsey   Keyboards
Lou Marini   Flute,Alto Flute
Christian McBride   Acoustic Bass
Gary Novak   Drums
Mike Panella   Trumpet
Joe Passaro   Marimbas
Alan Paul   Group Member
Don Shelton   Human Whistle,Soloist
Ramon Stagnaro   Acoustic Guitar
Steve Tavaglione   Soprano Saxophone,EWI
Vince Cherico   Drums
Jimmy Earl   Electric Bass
Luis Quintero   Percussion,Conga,Timbales
Basie Hauser   Finger Snapping
Edsel Gomez   Piano
John Herbert   Acoustic Bass
Airto   Percussion
Laurie Green   Finger Snapping
Steve Hass   Drums,Finger Snapping
Gary Wicks   Electric Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Scott Gilmore   Handbells
Michele Weir   Finger Snapping
Robert Rodriguez   Trumpet
Barb Sennet Wilson   Finger Snapping
Bais Haus   Synthesizer
Janet Vrudney   Handbells
Ramon Stagnero   Acoustic Guitar

Technical Credits

Joaquín Rodrigo   Composer
Jarreau   Composer
Van Dyke Parks   Composer
Fred Hersch   Vocal Arrangements,Instrument Arrangement
Manhattan Transfer   Producer
Janis Siegel   Composer,Liner Notes,Vocal Arrangements
Cheryl Bentyne   Composer,Liner Notes
Corey Allen   Arranger,Producer
Armando Anthony Corea   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Yaron Gershovsky   Arranger,Programming,Vocal Arrangements,Instrument Arrangement
Tim Hauser   Composer,Liner Notes
Scott Kinsey   Arranger
Scott Noll   Engineer
Alan Paul   Producer,Liner Notes,Vocal Arrangements
Neville Potter   Composer
Yusuf Gandhi   Executive Producer,Concept
Pamela Springsteen   Portrait Photography
Artie Maren   Composer
Basie Hauser   Composer
Edsel Gomez   Arranger
Burton Yount   Art Direction
Beth Coller   Photo Assistance
Paul Goldman   Booking
Don Shelton   Whistle
Bill Airey Smith   Engineer
Michele Weir   Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Producer,Instrument Arrangement
Francisco Javier Galego   Lyricist
Bais Haus   Arranger,Producer,drum programming

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The Chick Corea Songbook 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
keeplistening More than 1 year ago
Over the last several decades, Chick Corea has composed fantastic genre defining music. Chick has been equally proficient as a composer and performer of straight ahead jazz, Jazz/Rock Fusion, Latin Jazz and Jazz/World fusion. Vocal jazz is not what he has been known for though. The Manhattan Transfer, working in conjunction with Chick, are about to change that. This album, the groups first for the great Four Quarters label, features challenging but accessible vocal arrangements of eleven Corea compositions including the new tune, Free Samba. The arrangements, production and music are all top notch, and the groups' vocals have nver sounded better. A special treat is new lyrics for two songs, "Another Roadside Attraction" and "One Step Closer" were co-written by Van Dyke Parks. This album is simply a must for any fan of jazz and great vocal music. Congratulations Manhattan Transfer on 40 years of making fantastic music.