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Chick Corea & Steve Gadd: The Past That Never Was

Chick Corea and Steve Gadd’s new collaboration evokes a lost Return to Forever lineup

Chick Corea & Steve Gadd (photo by C. Taylor Crothers)
Chick Corea & Steve Gadd (photo by C. Taylor Crothers)

Chinese Butterfly (Stretch/Concord Jazz), the new double-album by the Chick Corea + Steve Gadd Band, is pretty much what you’d expect from two masters of their respective instruments: a lengthy clinic in exploratory improvisation, tight rhythmic interplay and attention-getting virtuosity. It’s also a “debut” recording that you could justifiably claim has been 53 years in the making.

That’s how long ago Corea, now 76, and Gadd, 72, first met, at a jam session on Long Island in 1965. Details are sketchy, but Corea remembers this much: “There was an instant rapport between us. We didn’t have to meet in the middle.”

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