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Chick Corea: My Spanish Heart

Album Notes

Personnel: Chick Corea (vocals, acoustic & electric pianos, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, keyboards, ARP & Moog synthesizers, hand claps); Gayle Moran (vocals); Stuart Blumberg, John Rosenburg, John Thomas (trumpet); Ron Moss (trombone); Jean-Luc Ponty (violin); Stanley Clarke (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Don Alias (percussion); Narada Michael Walden (hand claps).

The Arriaga String Quartet: Barry Socher, Connie Kupka (violin); Carol Mukogawa (viola); David Speltz (cello).

Producer: Chick Corea.

Reissue producer: Bryan Koniarz.

Recorded at Kendun Recorders, Burbank, California in October 1976. Originally released on Polydor (9003). Includes liner notes by Stuart Nicholson.

Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Kevin Reeves (Universal Music Studios-East).

This is part of the Verve Records Master Edition series.

Personnel: Chick Corea (vocals, acoustic & electric pianos, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, keyboards, ARP & Moog synthesizers, hand claps); Gayle Moran (vocals); Stuart Blumberg, John Rosenburg, John Thomas (trumpet); Ron Moss (trombone); Jean-Luc Ponty (violin); Stanley Clarke (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Don Alias (percussion); Narada Michael Walden (hand claps).

The Arriaga String Quartet: Barry Socher, Connie Kupka (violin); Carol Mukogawa (viola); David Speltz (cello).

Recorded at Kendun Recorders, Burbank, California in October 1976.

This 1976 release features Chick Corea in what was then, and remains, a unique musical setting. While it is truly an electric jazz fusion record, it is also the only solo recording of Corea's on which he attempted to truly explore the Latin side of his musical heritage. My Spanish Heart marks a full-scale, yet thoroughly modern, exploration in the musical lineage Corea sprang from. Making full use of synthesizer technology, a string section, and synth-linked choruses -- of two voices, his own and that of Gayle Moran -- as well as percussionist Don Alias, drummer Steve Gadd, a full brass section, and the sparse use of Jean Luc Ponty ("Armando's Rumba") and bassist Stanley Clark, Corea largely succeeded in creating a Spanish/Latin tapestry of sounds, textures, impressions, and even two suites -- "Spanish Fantasy" and "El Bozo." The string quartet performs its intricate and gorgeously elegant arrangements with verve and grace on "Day Danse" and on the suites, with Corea's contrapuntal pianism creating a sharp yet warm contrast to the shifting tempos, wild interval leaps, and shimmering timbral balances that occur. The only pieces that sound dated on this double-album-length set are the fusion pieces, which are, with their production and knotty stop-and-start modulations and key signature equations -- complete with aggressive arpeggios and scalar linguistics -- destined to be limited in expression by the voice of their use of technology. Thus, "Love Castles," "The Gardens," and "Night Streets" suffer from their rather cheesy production despite their tastefully done double fusion semantics (jazz to rock to Latin music). There is no doubt that Corea's musicianship was up to any task he chose at this point in time. Simply put, he was compositionally and intellectually at the top of his game, and this record, despite the many of his that haven't aged well, still surprises despite its production shortcomings. ~ Thom Jurek



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