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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chick Corea Trio: Live at Yoshi's Oakland -- October 11, 2010

Award winning pianist, Chick Corea, arrived at Yoshi's Oakland last night, for the first of a four-night stint with his trio. Accompanied by Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums, Corea took the stage at the intimate venue just after 8:00 p.m., and played a nearly eighty-minute set before a packed house that was eager to hear an acoustic set of Corea's special brand of jazz. 

Corea, McBride, and Blade waxed and waned their way through five numbers, including two penned by Corea--one, a new composition entitled, Homage, the other, one of his most beloved and best known numbers, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, from his 1968 Blue Note breakthrough of the same name.  And while mostly sticking with the setlist heard at other recent shows, Corea's trio treated the sold-out crowd to their rendition of Thelonious Monk's Work, featuring a big walking bassline from McBride and a very engaging drum solo from Blade. The other highlight of the evening had to be Alexander Scriabin's Opus 11, which featured Corea's ethereal piano work and a beautifully nuanced performance from McBride, where he seemed to be channeling Scott LaFaro at the Village Vanguard.

(Chick Corea--piano,  Christian McBride--bass,  Brian Blade--not pictured, )

This was one of the most intuitive groups of musicians that I have ever seen--and they truly performed as a trio, playing off each other beautifully, and rarely grabbing the spotlight for themselves.  No one expected anything less from Corea, as he delivered his brilliant brand of playing with grace and ease. And as great as Corea's playing was, Blade's dynamic and mostly restrained work on the drums was so tastefully executed, and McBride's work on the upright bass was so refined, that it sounded as if the group had been together for years rather than months. 

(Brian Blade's drum kit, Yoshi's Oakland)

The Chick Corea Trio will only be here for a limited time, as they wind their way across their international tour. Whether you're a longtime fan of Corea, or you just love great jazz--don't miss this very special trio. It isn't that often that a group of such talented and intuitive players comes to a venue as intimate as Yoshi's.  

Highly Recommended

The Chick Corea Trio will be at Yoshi's Oakland, playing two shows each evening, through Thursday, October 14, 2010. Click here for further information on tickets.


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