Chick Corea: Keyboard Workshop
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(Jan 07, 2003)
One of the most influential keyboard players and composers in the history of jazz, Chick Corea provides insights into practicing, composing and improvising. Featured is a brand-new piece composed, developed, and performed by a trio including John Patitucc
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Note that the description on the back of the DVD includes the following:
"Chick Corea provides insights into practicing, composing and improvising. This DVD features a piece composed, developed, and performed by a trio including John Patitucci and Tom Brechtlein."
That much is included on the DVD, though you should regard my earlier comments. However, the description goes on to say (in the same paragraph), "Chick Corea was one of the first players to incorporate synthesizers into his compositions - watch as he goes into detail on how he creates sounds on his synths and how he layers them to create new textures."
Unfortunately, this is not on the DVD. I found a reference to a seperate product in the Special Features > Additional Product Previews called "Chick Corea Electronic Keyboard Workshop." Disappointing and misleading.
Fun to watch with some good tidbits but not overly helpful for advancement. Three stars minus one for the misleading product description.
The only cool part is the jam with Patitucci and Brechtlein.
I've purchased a number of music instructional videos over the years. Each has given me at least a couple of new ideas or a fresh perspective. Considering the fact that when Alfred Music published this video Corea had been playing piano/keyboards for over 30 years, I figured I'd pick up at least a few scraps of inspiration from him!
I'm happy to report that I actually found this video exciting. Chick's on-air personality is definitely low-key. What I liked so much was his idea of `Gradient.' It's his philosophy that "a gradual approach to something, step by step, level by level, easily surmountable, leads to achieving difficult activities with ease." What's really cool is that after he describes the `Gradient' approach, you get to watch him apply it to help him tackle parts of Bach's Goldberg Variation #1.
Here's a guy who `has forever changed the face of jazz and fusion music' and is `one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time' (per the glossy advertising phrases on the back of the case) being challenged by numerous fingering dilemmas. Watching him experiment with alternative fingerings, jot down notes, and then play through the passage again, was to me, almost revelatory. It made me feel much less tiny as a musician!
The booklet included with the DVD is enormously helpful. You can easily refer to it to check out actual notation of drills, or songs like `Mood Indigo', `Children's Song #16', etc. If you want a really in-depth understanding, a harmonic analysis of `Easy to Love' is provided. A musical geek like me can easily spend an entire afternoon soaking this up.
The fact that he acknowledges L. Ron Hubbard for the idea of `Gradient' doesn't bother me. As a first year piano student (having played guitar and other instruments for a long time), if an idea is both inspirational and applicable, especially regarding motivation and practicing, I say `Thanks'! The only complaint I have is that he goes too fast sometimes!
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