Live at SFJAZZ Center 2013: The Music of Chick Corea & New Compositions
Since the mid-'00s, The SF Jazz Collective—an octet backed by the SFJAZZ organization—has been putting out yearly albums that focus on the work of a single composer; the releases also include originals by ensemble members. In 2013, the collective turned its attention to the dynamic oeuvre of pianist Chick Corea. This live recording draws its tracks from the group’s four-night residency in March 2013 at San Francisco's SFJAZZ Center. The sequencing and sound are both excellent. Things kick off with a version of one of Corea’s best-known works, “Spain.” The harmonically pleasing piece shines here; pianist Edward Simon’s arrangement is nicely balanced, and he and trumpeter Avishai Cohen turn in fine solos. “La Fiesta,” like “Spain,” draws on Corea’s Spanish roots. After an unaccompanied piano intro by Simon, bassist Matt Penman steps forward with a dramatic statement. Then drummer Obed Calvaire and Penman lock into a propulsive groove, and the group takes off. The album closes with trombonist Robin Eubanks’ “Shifting Centers,” which features fiery playing by the composer, who at times runs his instrument through special effects.