Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this 1971 album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. ECM. 2006.
Solo performer: Chick Corea (piano).
Recorded at the Bendiksen Studio, Oslo, Norway on April 21 & 22, 1971.
Keyboardist Chick Corea originally made his name playing electric jazz fusion with Miles Davis, issuing a series of adventurous solo albums, and spending time with the avant-leaning outfit Circle. PIANO IMPROVISATIONS, VOLUME 1 (issued on ECM in 1971), however, shows Corea in a more straightforward, accessible mode, performing a set of originals on unaccompanied piano.
Corea's meticulous sense of phrasing and flow complement these pieces beautifully, and while the lyrical emphasis and the push toward a more classically influenced sound might jar fans of his edgier work, there is no slackening of Corea's technique. The performances are lush, introspective, and beautiful, and lose nothing in their bid for accessibility. If anything, PIANO IMPROVISATIONS reveals Corea's talent all the more by showing his ability to tailor it for a wider audience.