hen a jazz concert doesn't get off the ground, some times too much rehearsing is to blame. The music becomes more about executing than searching, more about musicians reciting than listening to each other and throwing off creative sparks together.
But when Chick Corea and his trio played in Dominion-Chalmers United Church on Sunday, the first thing the 69-year-old pianist told the crowd was, "We're going to rehearse on you a little bit." A set of powerful, playful music resulted, from three of jazz's most recognizable players.
Corea was punchy and romantic, florid and fantastic, unleashing hand-over-hand feats at the keyboard. Bassist Christian McBride impressed with his big-as-a-house beat and the virtuosity of his solos. Drummer Brian Blade personified in-the-moment creativity and commitment, and when he swatted his cymbals it felt like the musical equivalent of "Amen!"
They were all like mighty orators, and their concert's best moments happened when they spoke with one spontaneous voice.
Serenity, a Joe Henderson piece, seemed like a subdued start to things. But the music grew more vivid with every tune, perhaps with the musicians becoming increasingly comfortable with the acoustics and with the audience.
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