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Herbie Hancock - An Evening with Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea CD (album) cover

AN EVENING WITH HERBIE HANCOCK & CHICK COREA

Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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js (Easy Money)
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3 stars Herbie Hancock is probably one of the finest pianists in recent history, and Chick Corea certainly rates very high as well. Like wise their playing styles are very similar as both draw from a mix of 20th century composers as well as post-bop jazz pianists such as McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. These two make a perfect match for a duo piano improvisation as it is often hard to tell which one is which and their intuitive reactions to each other's playing will amaze as they often sound like one four-handed keyboardist. Yet all is not as perfect here as one would hope. Something about having two minds leading the ship lends itself to improvisations that don't ever really take off and instead have several false lift-offs and circling patterns that come and go but ultimately lack targeted direction.

Technically Chick Corea is as good a pianist as ever, but in some ways this album might have been better if it was Hancock alone, or Hancock with someone who is a little more soulful or reflective. Herbie with Duke Ellington is the album I would like to hear. Something happened to Corea after the early 70s, after laying down some of the most intense acoustic and electric piano work ever on early RTF albums, Miles' albums and his avant group Circle, Chick's playing began to slide into a bland glibness that eventually caused me to lose interest in his career entirely.

Still, despite my criticisms these two are still the tops in their field and fans of both of these geniuses will find much to enjoy here. Although both of these performers are usually associated with the world of jazz, a lot of the music on here is more similar to jazz influenced mid-20th composers such as Francis Poulenc, George Gershwin, Darius Milhaud, Aaron Copland and Maurice Ravel, as well as more modern composers such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich. All is not neo-classical on here though, both Corea and Hancock bust out some definitive barroom bluesy jazz now and again, I suppose so that the old school jazz fans won't think that Chick and Herbie have become 'long hairs' (40s/50s jive talk for classical musicians).

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#277238)
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permalink

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