(photo credit: Michael Grecco)
They do say, don’t they, that it is generally a folly to try to relive your
past. You can’t go back, right? Try telling Chick Corea that. On September 4 the
veteran jazz keyboardist, who has no less than 16 Grammy Awards to his name,
will perform at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium alongside bassist Miroslav Vitous and
drummer Roy Haynes, in a lineup rematch of the trio’s Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
record which was released in March 1968. Naturally, none of the three are in the
spring chicken league. Corea turns 70 next year, Vitous will 63 in December and
the irrepressible Haynes – a phenomenon of nature – is 85 years old and still
putting jazz musicians half his age to shame.
In recent years the music
industry has increasingly put out products by reassembled bands, in the hope of
reviving the affections and, no doubt, pockets of the generation which heard
them when they were starting out, while drawing in new admirers who may not even
have been born when the artists first took the band stand. Even so, in terms of
time lapse and CV highlights, this threesome probably has the rest of the retro
If the term super group could ever be applied to a gathering
of jazz artists this would have to be it.
Corea has been an ivy leaguer
in the genre since making his name as a member of the groundbreaking
troupe led by iconic trumpeter Miles Davis in the late Sixties.
Vitous also joined forces with Davis on several occasions, and enjoyed
synergies with the like of frontliners pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter
Hubbard, guitarist John McLaughlin and drummer Jack DeJohnette, as well
than a handful of artistic encounters with Corea over the years. Haynes,
meanwhile, is a walking drumming legend who has been around since the
of modern jazz, back in the mid-forties, and has kept time for such
saxophonists Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, trumpeters Davis and
Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk and celebrated diva Sarah Vaughan.
COREA, even after an interval of over four decades, his forthcoming
Vitous and Haynes seems like a perfectly natural way to go.
been in touch through the years.
Something so deep seems not to be
affected by time,” he observes.
Still, they have been out and about a
lot, independently of each other, for the last 42 years so, presumably,
together now will be different for them compared with back then. Corea
to be drawn on that one, preferring to take a “wait and see” stance.Now
He Sings, Now He Sobs
was something of benchmark album for Corea,
some free improvisational material too. He had laid down his leader
couple of years earlier, with his debut Tones for Joan’s Bones
album, but Now He
Sings, Now He Sobs
was a far more mature effort. Corea says his
development in those early years, and ever since, has followed a gradual
rather than traversing a series of starbursts.
“I've always taken life
one step at a time, and it’s the same with music. I wrote a song for
on that [Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
recording called ‘Steps’. I love to make
music and make people happy with music.”
Besides his own brilliant
musicianship, Miles Davis was also amazingly adept at putting combos
and introducing new talent to the world, and showing his sidemen the way
Corea and Vitous are no exception.
“Miles was, is and always will be a
great inspiration,” says the keyboardist. “He was a great leader and
many creative doors for others, including me, to walk through.”
the success of the Corea-Vitous-Haynes get together, considering the
cultural and artistic baggage each brought to the mix, is
Corea is of Sicilian and Spanish descent and his father,
Armando, was a jazz trumpeter who had led a Dixieland band in the Boston
the 1930s and 1940s. Vitous started out on violin, and then piano,
good grounding in classical music before taking up bass and eventually
the Pond to enroll at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
course, had been there and done that with many of the pioneers of modern
before his trio cohorts were out of diapers. Even so, Corea says for the
of the trio finding a common language was anything but hard work.
immediate and it was magical,” he states simply.
The audience at the Mann
Auditorium concert will, no doubt, be eager to discover whether than
chemistry is still there 42 years on.Chick Corea, Miroslav Vitous and
Roy Haynes will appear at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv on September 4
p.m. Ticket information: call (03) 604-5000 or *8965 or go to: