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Corea, Chick , Elektric Band: To The Stars

Wow...back together again after over a decade apart, keyboard legend Chick Corea has re-assembled the Elektric Band, and the results are simply staggering. Joined again by guitarist Frank Gambale, sax player Eric Marienthal, bassist John Pattitucci, and drummer Dave Weckl, Chick and the boys have produced here a fusion effort filled with fire and flash, as if this was a first release from an up- and -coming hungry band.

Inspired by the L.Ron Hubbard novel of the same name (Corea has been fascinated by the works of the author for many years), To The Stars kicks off with the killer "Check Blast" , a complex and furious piece that sees all the members interlocking with serious venom, trading solos and intricate melodies seamlessly with each other. "Mistress Luck-The Party" has a real Latin flavor, and is led by Marienthal's raging sax and Corea's jazzy piano licks. Fans of Weckl will be happy to know that the drummer is in top form on this CD, bashing away with gymnastic rhythms and nimble fills. There are 17 tracks in all on To The Stars, with many short segue pieces (where Corea gets to demonstrate his virtuoso skills on various synths) as well as longer, epic cuts, like the Fender Rhodes drenched "Johnny's Landing" and the complex yet symphonic jazz of 'The Long Passage." Gambale unleashes a monster solo on the latter, with his trademark sweep picking technique all juiced up with a distorted tone. Bassist Pattitucci adds some nimble, beefy work to "Hound of Heaven", showing once again why he has long been hailed as one of the most talented fusion bassists on the scene. Gambale, Marienthal, and Corea get to fire off some wicked solos as well on this one, adding some technical wizardry to an otherwise bouncy Latin-tinged jazz burner.

This is a fine return from one of the best fusion bands of the past 20 years. All the players are virtuosos, and with Corea's songwriting and leadership steering the course, they have produced one of the best jazz-fusion releases of 2004. Here's hoping that they keep up the good work and stay around for a while longer!

Track Listing
1. Check Blast
2. Port View 1
3. Mistress Luck - A Portrait
4. Mistress Luck - The Party
5. Port View 2 ten
6. Johnny's Landing
7. Port View 3
8. Alan Corday
9. Port View 4
10. Hound of Heaven
11. Port View 5
12. The Long Passage
13. Port View 6
14. Jocelyn-The Commander
15. Port View 7
16. Captain Jocelyn- Tribute by His Crew
17. Captain Jocelyn - The Pianist

Added: September 4th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Chick Corea Website
Hits: 3323
Language: english

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