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The Continents: Concerto for Jazz Quintet & Chamber Orchestra

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Audio CD, February 7, 2012
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Born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Massachusetts on June 12, 1941, he began studying piano at age four. Early on in his development, Horace Silver and Bud Powell were important influences while the music of Beethoven and Mozart inspired his compositional instincts. Chick’s first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway, which came before early stints in Latin bands led by Mongo ... Read more in Amazon's Chick Corea Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 7, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B006FW0BHE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Africa
2. Europe
3. Australia
4. America
5. Asia
6. Antarctica
Disc: 2
1. Lotus Blossom
2. Blue Bossa
3. What s This?
4. Just Friends
5. Solo Continuum 31
6. Solo Continuum 42
7. Solo Continuum 53
8. Solo Continuum 64
9. Solo Continuum 75
10. Solo Continuum 86
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Making music for a combination of orchestral musicians and jazz musicians has end-less possibilities. Appreciation for the abilities each has for the other makes for an atmosphere charged with high interest, creative communication and new ideas. This was the setting for the composing and recording of The Continents for me, a dream come true. The process of making the recording was magical. The morale of the mu-sicians plus the recording team was so high that we finished recording the six move-ments of the concerto a day and a half under schedule. After saying goodbyes to the orchestra musicians, the Quintet had an impromptu jam just for fun. Of course, the recorder was on. I then had the next evening to record some piano solo bits that I thought would fit the cadenza sections of the concerto. After recording those, I felt there was still something incomplete about The Continents recording. So I decided to try to get to what it was by improvising on the piano by myself I felt that the basic material was somehow lacking something was missing.
That last evening, while I was waiting for Bernie to set things up and turn on the re-corder, I played the piano, starting my exploration to find what was missing. As you will hear, after playing several little pieces, I asked Bernie if he was ready to record to which Bernie answered that he had been recording all the time but didn t want to interrupt me. So we continued recording from there until I felt I was finished. After listening to the Quintet s jam and the piano soliloquies, I now feel that the recording of The Continents is complete (at least for the moment). The music may have its technical flaws, as perfection was never the goal but I m pleased that the music was made in the Spirit Of Play, which was the initial intent of the composition after being invited to write a piano concerto in the spirit of Mozart by the Wiener Mozartjahr.
Chick Corea

From the Artist

As it took this great team to make it happen, my heartfelt thanks go to: Bill Rooney for helping me realize this concerto by managing my ideas through to realities. Tim Garland, Marcus Gilmore, Hans Glawischnig and Steve Davis for their friendship and brilliant performances. Fred Sherry for helping me assemble the perfect set of musicians for this project. And to Steve Mercurio for his warmth and care in helping me bring the details of my score into focus. The Harlem String Quartet and Imani Winds for bringing their uplifting spirit to this music. And to Richard Stoltzman for his encouragement and transcendent clarinet sound. All the musicians of the orchestra for their high-spirited performances. Steve Epstein for his expert handling of the complexities of the sonic environment - and the recording and editing aspects of this project. Bernie Kirsh for his friendship and artistic recording - and Todd Whitelock for his masterful editing and mixing. My personal thanks to my wife Gayle Moran Corea for her love and support. And to L. Ron Hubbard for being a continual source of inspiration. Chick Corea

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By DavidMahler on February 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been living with this music for over a week now, listening almost daily to entirety of disc one (which is the core of the music here). I have almost every single release Corea has made since his Blue Mitchell days, all the way through his Miles years, free years with Braxton, Altschul and Holland, RTF years, all the ECM releases, the Trio Music releases with Haynes and Vitous, the Elektric/Akoustic releases, the Verve releases, the Stretch releases, his fantastic work with Origin, and all his work from the past decade.

In my opinion, this release demonstrates a new level of aptitude in composition for this artist. It surpasses his release on Sony classical about a dozen years ago. It shows heavy Bartok influence in certain parts but with a thoroughly refreshing emphasis on Jazz which is what Corea is best at. I can't recommend it higher than calling it the best new release I have picked up in several years. Bernie Kirsh did a fantastic job with the recording as well. Great to see such a deserving artist being featured on Deutsche Grammophon.

Certainly a contender for best of 2012!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mikio Miyaki on April 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like Chick Corea. His insatiable questing mind is a good example for me to follow. He is reported celebrating his 70th birthday with 10 different ensembles for one month long at Blue Note in last November. It is not too much to say he succeeds in transferring his image into the orchestral sound. Steve Davis and Tim Garland are vibrant with lives from start to finish. I like America part, where has strong resemblance with early return to forever sound.
However, I am completely at a loss when I put the second disc into a player. Corea wrote he recorded Jam session part and piano solo because the work finished under schedule, and felt something incomplete with the concerto. But why these tunes? Why did he use a progression in naming a piano solo number? As the quintet blows smoothly and satisfyingly through the songs, my sense of uneasiness increases.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Enrique O'Farrill on April 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Continents: Concerto for Jazz Quintet&Chamber Orchestra (CD1)is a wonderful composition by Mr. Corea. Complex and yet accesible. Melodic and modern. The orchestration is full of beautiful dialogues between the classical musicians and the jazz quintet. Counterpoint and colours abound to savour. The emphasis is on jazz which is a good thing. The jazz quintet improvises with excellence and fresh ideas. I have followed the work of Chick Corea for 40 years and in my opinion "The Continents" rates among his best work if not the best. In my view it clearly surpasses The Leprechaun and Corea's Piano Concerto Nº 1.
CD2 is different but equally enjoyable. Straight ahead jazz at its very finest (Steve Davis surpasses himself with every new solo). The pianist plays and solos as only he can (a bit in the spirit of "Now he sings and now he sobs"). Why must music this good have to comply with being "new" remains a mystery to me. Excellent should be good enough. I recomend to everyone to take the time to listen and enjoy this double cd issued by the prestigious Deutsche Gramophon.
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Usual great stuff from master Corea. Rare disc where I live so a nice addition to my collection. Definite recommendation.
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