Chick Corea and friends

  • 25 July 2006

This article is from 2006.

Corea to Scotland is usually cause for celebration, and this headline Jazz
Festival concert should be no exception. The pianist will line-up with three
younger players, English saxophonist Tim Garland (a popular figure in his
own right in these parts), bassist Hans Glaschwinig, and drummer Marcus

Corea first came to prominence with classic late-60s recordings
featuring his trio, followed by a stint with Miles Davis in his seminal
jazz-rock outfits of the late 60s and early 70s, playing the unaccustomed
electric Fender Rhodes piano much of the time. It opened a new pathway for
his creativity.

'To play music where the sound comes out of a speaker
rather than out of the ambience of an acoustic instrument is a completely
different experience, enough so to regard them as completely different
instruments. Even the touch and physicality of playing is a very different
experience. But you can use either kind of instrument to play formal or
improvised music; the difference is more in the feel of the music than in
the form.'

This magical fusion set a pattern the pianist has followed
throughout his long and very successful career. He has alternated between
acoustic groups of various sizes and formats, and plugged-in outfits like
his Elektric Band, not to mention ventures into writing for orchestra and
large-scale projects such as his latest CD release, The Ultimate

Like the earlier To The Stars, the new CD was inspired by L Ron
Hubbard (Corea is a long-standing adherent of Hubbard's Scientology). Tim
Garland featured on the album, and first had the opportunity to work with
Corea when the pianist heard a copy of his Enter The Fire CD (released by
the Eaglesham-based Linn Records in 1997), inviting him to join his Origin
band when saxophonist Bob Sheppard requested some time off during a European

'They brought me in to finish the tour,' Tim recalled, 'and I've been
working with him on various projects ever since, which just goes to show you
have to be very careful asking for time off in this business!' (Kenny

Queen's Hall, 0131 473 2000, 3 Aug, 8pm, £26 (£21.50).

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