Chick Corea (1941-2021)
Chick Corea (1941-2021)

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Michael Rüsenberg


Chick Corea, unlike most jazz musicians today, especially those in Europe, never went to a music conservatory. But his work is studied there, because he has in abundance what many lack: his own handwriting, and his own personal style. The fact that he expressed this in different fields was often honorably, but falsely, described with the attribute "chameleon". Falsely, because he never disappeared into the background of the respective context. Whether it was a piano concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra or his "Children Songs", solo, he has left his own mark. If Corea was involved, it was impossible to not hear it. Mostly, this happened in jazz: among the icons of the entire genre are his tone, his rhythmic-melodic signatures on piano, electric piano and monophonic synthesizer, often in staccato phrasing. He was successful, without a doubt. With his improvisations and compositions, he has inspired a great number of colleagues to imitate and interpret ("Spain", "La Fiesta" and the list goes on…). For his work he had been nominated for 67 Jazz Grammys and has been the recipient of 25 – more than anyone else in his trade. A selection of international critics recently honored him in three categories in the specialist magazine “DownBeat": as artist, pianist and keyboard player of the year (2021). Looking at his success, it is surprising that none of his around hundred recordings can be found among the handful of million-sellers in jazz. Armando Anthony Corea, known as Chick, born on June 12, 1941, in Chelsea/Massachussets, died on February 9, 2021 in Tampa/Florida of a cancer he was recently diagnosed with. He was 79 years old.

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