In the wake of Chick Corea’s passing on Tuesday (Feb. 9), bassist Christian McBride—whose friendship and creative partnership with the late jazz giant stretches back more than two decades—has issued an official statement, which follows below.
“The music of Chick Corea has made the entire world happy and inspired over the course of 60-plus years. Where were you when you first heard Chick’s music? Wherever you were, I’m sure it caught your ear and your heart. As musicians, we all wanted to play with him, write like him, put together bands like him, innovate like him. His legacy is so vast and deep, it will take probably a lifetime to absorb all of, or even most of it. From his sideman work with everyone from Mongo Santamaria to the Blue Mitchell/Junior Cook band to Stan Getz to Sarah Vaughan to Miles Davis to Gary Burton to his many legendary and innovative bands, I consider myself quite fortunate to have been a part of this great man’s universe. The first time I played with Chick was in 1995 on my second album, Number Two Express, with Kenny Garrett and Jack DeJohnette. From there, it was 26 years of totally blissful experiences. Chick was an instant friend to me and everyone he met. If you ever had a chance to meet, play, hang or just experience him and his music, I know you feel just as fortunate as I.
“Our deepest condolences go out to his children, Thad and Liana, and his partner in love for almost 50 years, Gayle Moran Corea.”
The most recent album that McBride recorded with Corea—Trilogy 2, also featuring drummer Brian Blade—is currently in the running for a Grammy Award, one of more than 60 nominations (and 23 wins, so far) that Corea has received in his career.