This very attractive five-CD set does an excellent job of summing up the rather productive career of pianist-keyboardist Chick Corea. The first two discs have highlights from the 1964-1982 period including a few sideman appearances, a previously unissued version of "Windows" played with Stan Getz, the original version of "Spain," four pieces from the Return to Forever days, and numbers from his freelance projects of the late '70s (highlighted by the exciting "Central Park"). The third disc concentrates on Corea's GRP projects (1986-1994), particularly his Elektric and Akoustic Bands (two selections were previously unissued), while the fourth CD is quite a grab-bag that includes collaborations with Herbie Hancock (a version of "Liza" that progresses from stride to free), Gayle Moran, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia, Gary Burton, Bobby McFerrin, and Miles Davis (a new duet version of "I Fall in Love So Easily" from 1969).
For this somewhat obscure Chick Corea LP, the pianist teams up with flutist Steve Kujala for a set of duets. Together they perform three of Corea's lesser-known originals along with two melodic free improvisations.
The Chick Corea Songbook is a studio album released by The Manhattan Transfer on September 29, 2009. The album features The Manhattan Transfer's interpretations of several Chick Corea compositions, as well as an additional track that was written specifically by Mr. Corea for this album. All About Jazz editor Jerry D'Souza stated regarding this album, "Manhattan Transfer is back, and in top-notch form with a marvelous blend of melody and song."
Chick Corea features an acoustic quartet on this CD, performing a full set of original material. Although the music is tied to a lengthy, complicated, and philosophical fictional piece outlined in great length in the liner notes (which are not really worth bothering with), the performances by the group (which is comprised of Corea on piano, Bob Berg on tenor and soprano, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Gary Novak) are excellent. Berg continues to grow and show individuality beyond the Michael Brecker influence (especially on soprano), the interplay between Corea and Patitucci is as impressive as ever, and Novak is alert to the constantly changing musical events.