17 November, 2011

Friends- Chick Corea

Friends was released on 1978. This was a very intense year for Corea because he recorded most of his best works as a leader (Secret Agent, The Mad Hatter and Delphi I: Solo Piano Improvisations). Also he released that year the live collaboration with Herbie Hancock (An evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea: In Concert). 

It is in some way a continuity of My Spanish Heart (released 2 years before), because in Friends electric and acoustic sounds coexist. Proof of this is that Corea plays sometimes a Steinway Acoustic Grand Piano and other times a Fender Rhodes; but he puts away his usual synthesizers. 

This fact and the melodic writing of the pieces that compose the album make it unique and basic for the bookshelf of any Corea fan. Musicians playing it have enough freedom to improvise; this denotes Chick's brilliant qualities as a leader. 

The result are hard swing recordings where Eddie Gomez really nails it on the bass providing rich and full sounds (with tremendous solos like the one in "Samba Song"), Farrell performing great flute jams and Gadd supplying constant creativity flows. The song named as the album, "Friends", is the one that best condenses all these features; one of those tunes that can cheer you up at any moment.

An interesting note is that the album cover (so criticised by many jazz aficionados) was designed by Chick himself. I do not know what American people have against the smurfs; I just think that they are funny.

Have a happy listening!

Chick Corea: piano
Eddie Gomez: contrabajo. 
Steve Gadd: percusión. 
Joe Farrell: flauta. 

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