About Chick Corea
Rarely does an artist who so deeply challenges the notions of a genre become as decorated and recognized as the late pianist/composer Chick Corea, who died in 2021 at age 79. Born Armando Anthony Corea, the man who came to be known as Chick started out playing in Herbie Mann’s and Stan Getz’s bands before joining Miles Davis in the late ’60s, at the dawn of the fusion era. But that orienting of jazz toward a rock orthodoxy—Corea’s boundary-pushing work alongside keyboardist Joe Zawinul is as central to the sound of Bitches Brew as Miles’ trumpet—was only the beginning of a career-long cross-pollination process. Whether with his own bands (which included Return to Forever, Circle, and Chick Corea Elektric Band), as a regular improv partner with vibraphonist Gary Burton, or with countless other collaborators, Corea wrote what would become jazz standards while incorporating aspects of folk, rock, funk, Brazilian, Spanish, and all other manner of styles. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Corea's influence is felt far beyond the jazz world, with hip-hop and electronic artists such as Flying Lotus, Eric B. & Rakim, and G-Eazy offering him that highest of praise by sampling him.
BORNJune 12, 1941