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Everything’s Great in Guelph — Unless You Ask Sainkho Namtchylak

Chick Corea

The crowd came to Jazz Alley early, packing the club from the end of the bar to the last table in the balcony. As twilight and drizzle fell beyond the wall of windows looking onto 6th Avenue, the patrons sat enjoying the spectacle of clearing sky, silhouettes of trees, passing umbrellas and patterns of headlights on the glistening pavement. The room tingled with the nervous energy that accompanies anticipation. For adjusting the microphone inside the nine-foot Steinway, the soundman was rewarded with applause.

Corea, bassist Avishai Cohen and drummer Jeff Ballard earned their first ovation by climbing the steps to the stage. The trio’s variety of attire gave no clue to its uniformity of musical purpose. Corea wore a sky blue shirt figured in white splashes that resembled a guayabera without pleats; Ballard a smocklike garment of shiny green stuff; Cohen black leather pants and a black jacket over a white T-shirt.

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