Reunited with master-musicians who helped create many of his classic albums such a Return To Forever, Chick Corea continues to explore new musical realms with a cross-genre mix ofexotic ethnic rhythms, passionate Spanish-Flamenco inspired melodies, and African and Middle Eastern grooves, resulting in a totally unique blend of world-jazz. The music provides a sonic landscape from the compelling sci-fi novel, The Ultimate Adventure; a long-time favorite of Corea's. Concord. 2006.
Just as some books need to be edited for length, so do some albums inspired by works of literature. At least that's the case with The Ultimate Adventure
, Chick Corea's second straight album project derived from a novel by his late Scientology mentor L. Ron Hubbard. Dubbed a tone poem by Corea, the nearly 75-minute work has some of his airiest, most cooly fluent music in some time. With its distinctive electric piano punctuation and contributions by flutist Hubert Laws and RTF percussionist Airto Moreira, the lyrical passages have echoes of his much-loved band of the seventies, Return to Forever. And the Spanish tinge for which he is known gravitates winningly south to Arabic North Africa. Ultimately, though, not all of the album's chapters are equally lively: the "Adventure" goes on a bit much for those who aren't using it as a soundtrack to the plot about a boy on a self-actualization quest, and even for some who are. But Corea has never negotiated the acoustic-electric (or, in his parlance, akoustic/elektric) divide as well as he does here and his ability to command a large cast including saxophonist Tim Garland and guitarist Frank Gambale is impressive. --Lloyd Sachs