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Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea & Jack DeJohnette at Carnegie Hall

Bobby McFerrin

An all-too-rare combination of virtuosity at the highest level, a shared passion for true improvisation, giddy humor, dead seriousness and hyper-inventiveness collided at Carnegie Hall when Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and Jack DeJohnette shared a stage. The event was part of both a short tour featuring the trio and a seven-concert “Perspectives” series at the New York venue curated and headlined by McFerrin. Each show in the series spotlighted a different aspect of McFerrin’s talents and interests: one teamed him with the acappella Voicestra choir; another found him conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with cellist Yo-Yo Ma; at another he worked with bassist Edgar Meyer. (This would be a good time for this reviewer to disclose that he is currently working with McFerrin’s management on a project but would have enjoyed this concert just as much if he weren’t.)

As is usually the plan for a McFerrin concert, there was no plan for the Corea-DeJohnette outing: the trio came out onstage, took their places and winged it for 90 minutes straight. There were no recognizable songs, save for a brief encore based on Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk.” There were no breaks. Instead there was just pure, spontaneous music, music that went every which way, quite often to places that not only the audience but the performers too could not have anticipated.

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