The Chick Corea Songbook
Ok… as I still remain somewhat speechless over how to express my overwhelming feelings surrounding this project… I am led to believe this is the feeling itself! Stark, new, uncharted. In a time where music is fast disintegrating before our very ears comes a genuine surprise in our nearly 40-year career! Something, I feel is brand new for us! Yes, Chick Corea has gifted us all for quite some time with his music and will continue to withstand the test of time as we all know. I guess what I am surprised and humbled by, is we have been handed four first-class tickets on this journey, by way a dream turned reality by Mr. Yusuf Gandhi. With a brave variety of songs, some ’til now unsung, others already songs that we took various detours on, I honestly feel this otherworldly adventure was delivered by a much higher source! Thank you Yusuf for the dream and thank you Chick, for offering up your delicious, endless source of inspired melodies.
Time has a funny way of deciding when things will come to fulfillment. I remember vividly having enthusiastic conversations with Chick and Gayle back in 1975, at their old house in Los Feliz, relating to a collective project. After a while, I never thought it would happen. But, thanks to Yusuf Gandhi, and his wonderful vision, it did happen. For myself, I found the project to be extremely challenging, particularly because of the relationship of some of the melodic intervals and their respective rhythms. But most musical entities that have been around as long as us seem content to rely on their old hits, and catalogue favorites. I’m grateful we were given the opportunity to stretch out once again, and I’m also glad we took it. Sincere thanks to Chick for his wonderful music, and to Yusuf for the challenge.
Doing this CD has been an incredible musical journey. It’s something that the group has wanted to do since first meeting Chick back in the late ’70s but never got around to doing. So when Yusuf Gandhi and Bob Belden presented us with the idea of doing The Chick Corea Songbook we knew immediately that the time had come to finally fulfill our dream. The biggest challenge was picking the material because Chick’s compositions are harmonically and rhythmically very complex and in some cases not really singable. In the end I feel we managed to pick a diversified group of songs, some well known and some obscure that needed to be reconstructed and have lyrics written to, and after four decades of creating music together gave us one of the most inspiring, creatively challenging albums we ever made. Thanks Chick.
To sing a Chick melody and get inside the mind of a Sicilian/Spanish/Space Genius has been a magical and transformational odyssey, filled with majestic vistas of España, starry expanses of universe, children singing, pixies, leprechauns, love castles and fusion tones that have rattled my bones. I became a lifelong Chick Corea fan when I first heard the groundbreaking album Inner Space, and I haven’t looked back since. The things that have left the greatest impression on me, as we complete this CD, have been the scope of Chick’s musical imagination, his mastery of rhythm, his playfulness, and his restless creative curiosity. I will also treasure the conversations with Chick about his parents, Anna and Armando, which informed the lyric for “Armando’s Rhumba.” Thank you Chick, for all the challenges, the elegant beauty of your writing, and for the opportunity to put our vocal spin on your music.