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Chick Corea & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Live

Review of performance by pianist at the Rose Theater on January 22, 2011

Chick Corea with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Chick Corea with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Chick Corea with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

A newly-trimmed Chick Corea (he’s lost 80 pounds) took the stage at spacious Rose Theater spouting praise for his host Wynton Marsalis. “I feel very honored to be in this environment that Wynton and the band create,” he told the Saturday night crowd. “Wynton promotes a space of freedom of expression and that’s what we’re all about.” And the artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) was equally effusive. “This week has been fantastic for us,” said Wynton. “It’s been revelatory and inspirational.”

It had been a busy week indeed for the multiple Grammy-winning artist, who turns 70 this year. On Sunday he engaged in some interactive duets in a midtown Manhattan studio with Roy Haynes for the drummer’s next Dreyfus Jazz recording (they played Monk’s “Off Minor” and “Introspection” along with an improv piece). There followed a week of intensive rehearsals with the JLCO, whose members had concocted fresh new arrangements of his classic pieces spanning four decades. Their three-night engagement at the Rose Theater kicked off on Thursday evening. On Friday evening (technically the wee hours of Saturday morning), Corea found himself sharing a piano bench up at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with Marcus Roberts, jamming ’til 2:30 with Wynton, Lew Soloff and others.

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