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Chick Corea and Origin: A Week at the Bluenote

One of the most heartening sounds heard around the jazz piano world in the last few years was that of Chick Corea unplugging. Not to say anything of his electric (or, in his own vernacular, “electric”) forays, but he seemed to have reclaimed some artistic rapport with the grand piano, with a little help from Mozart and Bud Powell, to whom Corea devoted himself to pay tribute. Of course, Corea played acoustic all along, in the nooks of his musical life, but sometimes his approach to the unplugged instrument, the attack, the attitude, seemed influenced by his frequent contact with tools programmed by extra-human “touch sensitivity.”

Now, arriving like a sort of manifesto of newly attained organic feeling, comes the paradoxically epic and relaxed 6-CD set, A Week at the Blue Note, by his invigorating new post-mainstream sextet, Origin. In a way, this project represents a reversed polarity of keyboard influence, allowing his acoustic, natural preferences to affect his notions of programming and recording techniques.

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