Chick Corea & Bela Fleck - The Enchantment (2007)
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Chick Corea Prod., / Concord
This CD is the type of thing that ECM Records has always excelled at—taking a couple of virtuoso musicians into the studio and letting them fashion a sound that is an amalgam of their individual experiences as musicians. That worked amazingly well when pianist Chick Corea recorded Crystal Silence, an album of duets with vibraphonist Gary Burton back in 1972. But The Enchantment, featuring duets by Corea world/pop banjo player Bela Fleck was just released in 2007, not on ECM, but on the jazz mega-label Concord Records. Though the commercial potential, for an improvisational, instrumental piano/banjo album is high (HA!), Concord should be congratulated for committing to a recording such as this. Granted these two guys are giants among instrumentalists, but it’s still good that a large label was willing to put something like this out there.
All but one of the tracks was composed by either Corea or Fleck, and what’s amazing is the way that they are able to play and add to each other’s compositions. The opener, Corea’s “Seniorita” is a Latin-based tune, as are many of Corea’s best-known compositions, but Fleck makes himself right at home, coaxing a classical sound from his banjo that is truly amazing. On “Mountain,” which hews closer to the banjo’s bluegrass roots, Corea has no problem finding his space and interjecting his own voice into the proceedings. Fleck’s “A Strange Romance” bristles with gypsy influence, and again, Corea is right at home.
Though each performer is an amazing soloist and there are plenty of great solos here, it is often just as impressive to simply hear the way that these masterful musicians combine and interweave their instrumental voices to create something new. An example of this is found on Fleck’s“ folksy Waltse for Abby,” and Corea’s “Children’s Song #6” where regardless of which voice has the lead, the other twines its way in and around the lead voice.
This is a great collaboration and an all-star recording project that truly lives up to expectations. Corea and Fleck will tour throughout June 2007 in support of the recording, and it would be well worth it to catch up with them. © jazzitude.com
3. Joban Dna Nopia
5. Children's Song No.6
6. A Strange Romance
8. Waltse For Abby
10. The Enchantment
11. Sunset Road