Remembering Chick Corea
Chick in Marciac 2019 at 3 am, after playing his own 1-1/2 hour set and sitting through our 1-1/2, he agrees to come up on our bandstand for the encore, says he would rather accompany than solo, plays the hell out of a tune he doesn’t know, interacts with that deep intelligence and empathy, comes off-stage and recalls every tune of our set commenting on what he liked most, lavished praise on all of our young musician’s solos, excitedly compliments pianist Isaiah Thompson, talks about the nightly greatness of inventive and poetic trumpeter Mike Rodriguez who played with him on tour, talks about the concerto he is going to write for otherworldly trombonist Joe Alessi of the NY Philharmonic, and concludes with saying, “Man, is it actually 4am? I’ll see you in New York.”
He was one of a kind. Master, student, teacher, fan, advocate and lifelong leading citizen in the world of music. Prehistoric instincts, super quick reflexes and deep knowledge meets an unquenchable thirst to know, to experience the present and to embrace change. He left an uncommonly deep canon of diverse and high quality music. There will be a lot of framing commentary as befits the passing of a great creative and socially engaged artist. If you wish to know him better, please listen to more of his beautiful music that you have not heard.
In New Orleans fashion, mourn his death by celebrating his life. Kareem Abdul Jabbar said it best in concluding our conversation late last night, “The echo will be strong.” As it should be.