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Chick Corea Elektric Band - The Chick Corea Elektric Band CD (album) cover

THE CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND

Chick Corea Elektric Band

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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4 stars While not exactly foreign territory for him, Chick Corea returns back to electric (or I guess Elektric) with a fresh group of young talent. Strap on a keytar and play along!!

Unlike the Elektric Band albums that followed it, this album contains not one but two guitarists as part of the band (Scott Henderson and Carlos Rios), and there is no sax player in the band. While Chick had yet to find a steady lineup of musicians, he produced a strong album with his first EB release.

Even though his rhythm section of John Patitucci and Dave Weckyl are the only musicians to stay with the band for the next release, the guitar work (and keyboards) are what stand out to me the most with this album. Henderson and Rios both get to showcase their soloing ability on various tracks, and much of the material is often based around a guitar lick, keyboards (obviously!) or the two playing in unison. In fact, on a closer listen, many guitar sounding parts are, in fact, made by Chick Corea on one of his many keyed instruments. According to Chick's official website, only 4 tracks (King Cockroach, Side Walk, Cool Weasel Boogie, and Elektric City) feature guitar. Personally, I'm not so sure as I swear I'm hearing some killer lead guitar playing on "Silver Temple" that drops out near the start of the bass solo. Guitar or not, I like what I'm hearing.

"Got A Match" allows the keys/drums/bass trio to really shine by trading solos while weaving back and forth from the strong theme of the song, and may very well be one of the more popular songs on the album. Other tracks such as "All Love" also show the trio of Corea, Weckyl, and Patitucci in fine form.

The only real complaint I have with the album is that it's definitely a product of the 80s in terms of how each instrument is recorded. This is most likely an intentional move to have a modern sounding record for the time. While the sound is undeniably 80s, the overall catchiness of the compositions and strong musicianship make up for this. This may keep some people away from this album or the group in general, but if you've heard enough 80s fusion music, you're most likely used to it.

A worthwhile purchase for the fusion lover in your life!

Report this review (#213765)
Posted Monday, May 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The 80's meets Chick Corea, (the well known jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer) with new technologies and new sounds. So he takes this challenge, investigates the sounds, gets to know each device thoroughly, and make the best out of it. You may reject the 80's sound, but listening to this, you got to admit that under Chick Corea?s hands, each instrument implement its full potential.

Here are the first digital sounds of the Yamaha equipments, DX7 and alike, and let's not forget the synclavier, a monster synth at the time. The pitch wheel rules. On the drums department, we can hear the great Linn drums, and some other electronic percussion, played by drummer Dave Weckl and Chick.

In this band, Chick Corea cooperates with young musicians, than, John patitucci on bass, Dave Weckl on drums, and Scott Henderson or Carlos Rios on guitar. No need to compare to legendary RTF, they are all great on their own. I had the honor and the pleasure to see them live in Jerusalem, Israel, back in the 80's. Musicians at this caliber performing in Israel, at the peak of their career, was something really hard to get.

But this album is not just an instrument exhibition, played by great players. The album also features some excellent compositions, most written by Chick. What is great here is the simplicity on the one hand, and the complication on the other hand, simultaneously. The compositions are more varied than it may seem from the first listens. My personal taste goes to what happen toward the end of the vinyl version. Right in the climatic end of 'King Cockroach', a complicate, Jazzy composition, which builds in a way that reminds me of late RTF, come the last track, 'India Town'. On two chords, and simple, catchy melody, spanned an oriental improvisation with oriental sounds that comes from the synths and percussion. Great atmosphere here. Other listeners may note first to the two jazz-rock hymns, 'Side Walk' and 'No Zone', that actually sounds like Jazz-rock hits. (The melodies will be stuck in your mind for sure). Another highlight is 'Got a Match', a fantastic due between Chick's keyboards and John Patitucci's bass. The bass playing is total virtuoso, with fast lines on the high notes. Sure enough, this track won't be missed by true jazz enthusiasts.

One more track, 'Cool Weasel Boogie', is written by all members, really nice one, but regretfully, this track is cruelty cut off with a very annoying fade out, right in a middle of an excellent build-up from guitarist Carlos Rios. The vinyl limitations, you know...

In spite of this one failure, it's an awesome album.

P.S. since Chick Corea's work is not presented in PA, I feel the necessity to announce that this band, as RTF, is just part of the whole Chick Corea creation, which is very vast, versatile, and contain so many styles and line-ups, from duos to large ensembles, from Jazz to rock, acoustic, classical or almost classical, through written and improvised jazz... for prog listeners, I highly recommend his great creations from the 70's, 'My Spanish Heart', 'The Leprechaun' and 'The Mad Hatter', at this order, as great works, and perfect entry ticket to Chick Corea's world.

Report this review (#217312)
Posted Friday, May 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars He always puts the antenna that catches the age and is having them come round. Chick starts part "Return To Forever" of his history ..the start in the 70's... I think that it is a result of interesting and prefer of his idea in the 70's appearing. And, it has a certain purpose and directionality and RTF has evolved. And, he caught and had digested the age to this album that had been announced in 1986.

Perhaps, Chick can be guessed the trial at this time and groping for various, latest musical instruments when ErektricBand is formed. He uses KX88, TX816, KX5, and Midi Rhodes etc. of Yamaha in this album. And, it looked for the musician to execute the idea concretely. He is always given by the musician and is executing his realization. He is making dismantlement and the restructuring of music succeed including competing with Gary Burton. Chick at this time might have felt the element opposite to the idea of Herbie Hancock. And, he might get the method of the digestion besides RTF and it get one answer concretely by the performance of this band.

Scott Henderson of a guitar player who was active by group "players" of Bass player Jeff Berlin and "Zawinul syndicate" of the group of Joe Zawinul was a discovery of one talent for Chick. And, Carlos Rios of the same guitar player also participates in this album. As for drum player's Dave Weckl, it is known after Chick and work are really advanced to all over the world.

The part only of the piano of "Rumble" Chick and the drum of Dave where "City Gate" impressive the progress of an explosive melody and the melody are received and it dashes has really trusted each other. A mellow melody line of "Got A Match?" Chick dedicated to Flute player Joe Farrell of Jazz is impressive. 「King Cockroach」

I think that the start of this ElektricBand is a work that appears his most remarkable idea in the age when thinking about the history of his music. It is led one answer and attainment by the idea besides RTF, changes shape now, and appears to our presence.

Report this review (#220138)
Posted Sunday, June 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Chick Corea at ProgArchives? Well, I am very happy with it even though most his compositions are more jazz than prog but I have always admired his progressive jazz composition. I knew him for the first time through his inventive moog / synthesizer work with 'The Endless Night' from Return to Forever's 'Music Magic'. His keyboard playing style was very distinctive by the time I listened to it in late seventies. Since then I explored many albums of RTF as well as his solo work. In fact, his solo work is much more progressive than this Elektrik Band. His solo album 'The Mad Hatter' (1978) contained the best song that I love from his creations: 'Dear Allice'. The music is truly fabulous and progressive to the bone, really! Any of you know this song? You should try, my friend... The basic structure of the music is really progressive as it has many style and tempo changes. The other great composition from his solo work is 'Compadres' from his album 'Touchstone'. I think Chick Corea solo works should be featured here at this nice site.

As far as this debut album from Elektrik Band, one thing that I expected to see in the album was his unique keyboard / piano/ synthesizer work that is full of inventive notes and dynamic style. ANd yeah, this album demonstrates it nicely. As far as personal taste, I'd rather enjoy music that has curved lines in its basic structure, instead of the straight line. What I mean with straight lines are those who have one basic structure with similar pattern in its song and it is repeated over and over even though they have chorus / interlude portion. Simply said, those straight line structure are those who have a structure of A-B-A. While those with curved lines are the ones which have a structure of something like A-B-C-D or sometimes when it comes to closure they return back to A , or something like A-B-C-D-A.

Most compositions contained here in this album are in straight line structure with the exception of 'Got A Match?' (5:41) of track 5. This track represents the kind of music that I expect Chick Corea I expect always play. It has a great dynamic notes that flow through the curved line structure. Look at the opening that demonstrates his inventive keyboard work followed with relatively complex rhythm section with dynamic drumming, tight bass-line and stunning guitar solo. All musicians: John Patitucci (Electric and Acoustic Basses), Dave Weckl (Acoustic and Electric Drums, Percussion) are given fair chance to perform their skills through solo or through a complex music arrangement. The composition is truly top notch and I cannot believe they can make this such wonderful composition!

Other songs like 'Elektrik City', 'City Gate' are also very good in terms of composition as well as performing Chick's keyboard work. 'King Cockroach' is also a very good composition. It starts mellow and as the music flows it relies the melody on Chick's keyboard / piano work. In a way this composition is similar to Chick's solo work 'Compadres' from 'Touchstone' album.

Overall, I really enjoy this album as it has solid composition. For those of you with jazz background, this is a good one to have. I remember sometime in 1987 (or 1988?) I watched their gig in Singapore. It's an excellent performance and Chick is a very communicative guy. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#228310)
Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another Chick Corea band, after RTF. And it's real electric, as it is stated in the name of the band. The sound is almost pure electric, some electric version of cool jazz.

Corea's keyboard style is recogniseable, but modernised in the key of time. The rhythm section is perfect and includes well known jazz musicians as John Patitucci (bass) and David Weckl (el/ac dr). Music is modal, not too complex.

There are added electric guitar sound in many songs as well. "Got A Much?" is real jazz- rock. "Electric City" has some melodical elegance inside. But in total the music is a bit formal, you can't feel the soul in it.

I think Corea tried to catch the move of the time with his Elektric Band's debut album. And music is competent and professional. The only problem is there is no place for soul or game ( improvisation) in it. So - quality but not catching.

Report this review (#243147)
Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Return to Forever part 2? Not really, as the contemporary fusion and jazz have changed with less focus on virtuosity and more of overall feeling. It's nice to hear Chick jumping on the wagon again and providing electronic keyboards again.

The record is of average quality, there are some colorless moments with no feeling but also more introspective pieces. Playing is very good, maybe I'd wish to hear a bit more guitar. Compositions are definitely below RTF average, more about mood than concrete motives.

For me, the highlights are "King Cockroach" with good RTF-like playing and dynamics, then "Silver Temple" has some killer bass and drums but is also slightly incoherent.

Report this review (#2481297)
Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 | Review Permalink

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