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.”