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My new Nation column is "A Tale of One City by David Brooks"—The “one city” is the New York dreamed of in Mr. Brooks’s imagination.
Chick Corea and the Vigil Live at the Blue Note and with Christian McBride and Brian Blade on “Trilogy” (three CDs on Concord Records)
New (old) Dead releases
The Roundabout Theater’s “India Ink” by Tom Stoppard (and some other stuff).
Chick Corea has twenty Grammys, but what really makes him unique is the incredible range of his compositional and musical ability. Corea brought one of his many bands, “The Vigil” to the Blue Note for a week of shows, which, for the present includes saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Tim Garland, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Hadrien Feraud, drummer Marcus Gilmore, percussionist Pernell. They are all amazing in their own way and while the band is usually understood to be a kind of fusion thing—a successor to “Return to Forever,” the show I saw was pretty jazz and Latin focused, which was a pleasant surprise. Among the highlights for yours truly was the new composition, “Royalty,” a Corea-penned tribute to drummer and bandleader Roy Haynes, whom Corea calls his “hero, mentor and friend” whom he first met in 1967 when he joined the Stan Getz quartet. (The band’s drummer is Roy’s grandson.) The rest of the show was heavily flamenco/tango/Spanish influenced and while it was the first set of the run, everybody left pretty happy.
What I really hope to see soon, however is Corea playing with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, and doing the kind of classic jazz and Corea compositions that appear on his new live triple-CD “Trilogy.” It’s the kind of jazz one yearns for if one is, like yours truly, stuck in the past, both in terms of mid-century compositions and Corea’s earlier career—“My Spanish Heart” is my personal favorite—albeit updated and reimagined by three terrific and telepathic players. Highlights of this delightful collection include “Fingerprints,” Corea’s “Spain,” “How Deep Is the Ocean?” and a gorgeous “Someday My Prince Will Come” with Gayle Moran Corea on vocals closing out the three CDs and leaving one very much wishing to go back to the beginning.