Brilliance revisited 35 years on
JAZZ The New Crystal Silence Chick Corea and Gary Burton
PIANIST Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton go back more than 35 years, and this double album revisits the style and a couple of songs from their 1972 duo album Crystal Silence . Given Corea’s diverse musical interests — he has played with jazz greats such as Miles Davis and Stan Getz, and written classical compositions — his collaboration with Burton and the Sydney Symphony, on disc one, comes as no surprise. British saxophonist and composer Tim Garland arranged five of Corea’s pieces into lengthy works recorded live last May at the Sydney Opera House, with the orchestra conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer. The arrangements overcome the difficulties of combining a jazz group and an orchestra: Corea and Burton play in a classical style and have largely removed swinging elements from their playing. The opening track, Duende , flows with the momentum of a pastoral overture. Disc two, recorded last July at Norway’s Molde Jazz Festival, features the duet and is more a stylistic reprise of the original Crystal Silence . It is interesting to compare recordings of the only track on both CDs of this double album, Corea’s popular La Fiesta . Both versions start with out- of- tempo introductions by piano and vibes. The orchestral accompaniment on disc one creates Spanish rhythms evocative of a composition by Albeniz. On disc two, La Fiesta moves into fast rhythmic passages, more like the familiar Spanish influence in jazz. Tempos alter throughout, and the two players complement each other as if from shared DNA. Technique, ideas, virtuosic solos and ensemble playing hold the pieces together with seamless brilliance.