Jazz Great Corea to Perform at Bates

Pianist Chick Corea, considered one of the preeminent forces in modern jazz, will perform with his quartet Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. in the Bates College Chapel.

Tickets, at $10 each, may be reserved through the college box office at 207-786-6135.

Corea, a multiple Grammy Award winner, has been a force in jazz since his 1960s work with Miles Davis, which included the classic recording “Bitches Brew.” He also performed with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo and as part of Circle along with Anthony Braxton and Dave Holland.

In 1971 he launched Return to Forever, the jazz-fusion ensemble which at various times featured vocalist Flora Purim, guitarist Al Di Meola and bassist Stanley Clarke. The group won Grammy Awards for its recordings “No Mystery” and “Romantic Warrior.”

He won his eighth Grammy in 1989 for the debut album of his group the Akoustic Band.

The ensemble he is bringing to Bates includes saxophonist Bob Berg and drummer Gary Novak.

Recently, Corea has branched out into the classical realm, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with orchestras in San Francisco and Japan. He also has toured as a solo performer of pop and jazz standards.

Speaking of “Time Warp,” his most recent recording, Corea recalled its origin in a European tour by the Chick Corea Quartet in 1992.

“We were playing mostly standards and some tunes from Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane,” Corea said. “Then, as we became more comfortable with each other as players, I began to write a suite which came out as ‘Time Warp.'”

The 11-part work is a musical depiction of a fantasy short story written by Corea. The story, he said, “is based on the wild idea that you can find other places, universes, not by traveling through distance from one point to another, but by moving time one way or another, maybe a couple of seconds, or a minute.”

The recording represents yet another direction for Corea, whose shifts in musical course are legendary among his fans.

“My interests change and vary as the years go along, with different emphases all the time,” he said.

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