The year was 1976 and my cousin, by some ubelievable stroke of good luck, managed to get from abroad a bunch of new vinyl LPs. It was a true miracle for us! We were growing up in the former Czechoslovakia, where the access to the western music recordings was very restricted (… among many other things).
The truth is, that some of those recordings have truly defined our music preferences for the rest of our lives. Among others, those were albums from the Deep Purple, Carlos Santana, Grand Funk Railroad and – My Spanish Heart from Chick Corea.
We jumped on those recordings immediately. But a few of them required some more time to “digest”. Like the Corea’s album. In particular it was the Armando’s Rhumba composition, that ‘got us’ first, with its Spanish flamenco flair. The rest came soon after, and his music has become a core part of our lives’ music list.
Later, with a couple friends we started to broaden our music horizons from pure rock into the jazz-rock and the jazz fusion. We listened to Corea’s music with the band Return To Forever, with the Electric Band and Akoustic Band.
In 1983 we even had a chance, in my hometown(!), to see the live concert which Chick Corea played with his long time collaborator Gary Burton and a string quartet. Instead of a playful melodies like his popular Spain, we got exposed to much more demanding music. But we were very happy for that anyway.
As the time went by, I would regularly return to listening to the Chick Corea’s older and newer music, and also to him talking and teaching about music (thanks to YouTube). Therefore I was sad when I learned, that Chick Corea has passed away a few days ago.
With this brief post I just wanted to pay tribute to this great musician.
RIP Chick Corea.