Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Chick Corea worked his way up rapidly from sideman to Herbie Mann and Blue Mitchell to a head-turning leader and composer on Tones for Joan’s Bones and this ferocious 1968 follow-up, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. The latter boasts one of the great jazz trio lineups of all time, with Corea, bassist Miroslav Vitous, and drummer Roy Haynes locked in hard-swinging alchemy on a set of highly inventive Corea originals. First released on Solid State, the album was later reissued by Blue Note with numerous bonus tracks, all well worthy of inclusion. With Thelonious Monk’s “Pannonica” we get an early glimpse of the Monk interpretive focus this lineup would fully embrace on the 1982 ECM classic Trio Music.
There’s a rich contrast between this and Corea’s other great early trio with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul (heard on The Song of Singing and A.R.C. from 1970/71). With Vitous and Haynes, Corea is airier, more of a dancer on the keys. With Holland and Altschul he’s far freer and more abstract. Both groups are vital to assessing the piano legend’s creative journey.