Corea, Chick

Corea, Chick (Armando Anthony), 1941-2021, American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader, b. Chelsea, Ma. Corea’s father was a bandleader in Boston who encouraged his son to play piano from a young age. Moving to New York City to study at Columbia University and Juilliard, Corea was soon playing with Latin jazz bandleaders Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo, along with upcoming musicians on the New York scene. He recorded his first solo album in 1966, and then took Herbie Hancock’s position in Miles Davis’s group two years later. Corea played electric piano on Davis’s influential jazz-rock fusion album, Bitches Brew (1970). He became most well-known as the leader of the fusion group, Return to Forever, which crossed over to commercial pop success in the ‘70s. Later bands included his Elektric and Akoustic bands. He also made eight duet albums with vibraphone player Gary Burton, beginning with Crystal Silence (1972), which is considered a classic. Corea’s compositions were recorded by a wide variety of other jazz musicians, and his recordings earned 23 Grammys, the most of any musician in any musical style, along with three Latin Grammys. He was named a N.E.A. Jazz Master in 2006.

See K. Waters, Postbop Jazz in the 1960s: The Compositions of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea (2019)

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