Advertisement

ALBUM REVIEWS : *** 1/2 CHICK COREA : “Akoustic Band Alive” : <i> GRP</i>

It’s beyond quibbling that this is a group of skilled artists; one can only wish it were more of a piano trio and less of a three-man collective. On the tunes where he plays the first chorus alone (“Sophisticated Lady,” “ ‘Round Midnight”), Corea is fascinating, his harmonic imagination darting all over the themes. But on almost every cut he has found it mandatory to allot extensive time to drummer Dave Weckl, whose flim-flam buoyancy is a mood-breaker. Are energy and intensity essential to this genre? And great though John Patitucci is on upright bass, a little less of him would have left more time for the leader to stretch out. There are two charming Corea pieces, the 1975 “Humpty Dumpty” and the later “Morning Sprite.” Less theatricality and more pianistic virtuosity could have turned this into a five-star session.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five stars (a classic).


Advertisement