Chick Corea Trio: Gatineau, Canada 04/26/06
Everything was extended, yet the hundred-minute set seemed to fly by in an instant. Whether they were reworking material by Richard Rogers ("With a Song in My Heart ) or Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Desafinado ), there seemed to be little if any game plan. For some, that kind of risk can result in valiant but failed experiments, but the simpatico between Corea, Gomez and Airto is so deep that there was little chance of that happening. Anything was possible, with the trio shifting rhythmic gears on a dime. Any one of them might suggest a change and there was complete confidence that not only would the others pick up on it and follow, but that it was just as likely that yet another variation might be suggested, moving the trio off in yet another direction.
Corea divided his time equally between acoustic piano and Rhodes, using the Moog rarely, but to great effect. During the extended vamp that ended "You're Everything Corea alternated between synth and Rhodes, in effect trading off with himself. Airto's combination of lithe kit work and hand percussion created terrific tension and release, beautifully shifting from textural hand percussion to delicate ride cymbal work that would open a tune up dramatically, but always with understatement in mind.
While taking the requisite bows at the end of the show, the trio ultimately left the stage the way they entered itthree close friends who'd just gotten together to casually make a little musicand, for a short time, providing the audience a glimpse into a more informal alternative to the kind of structured formatting so prevalent at most shows. The end result wasdespite taking place in a 1,100 seat theatrea rare sense of intimacy where the musicians' personalities were on equal display with their exceptional musical talents.
Photo Credit: John Kelman