Chick Corea is kind of to jazz and fusion what Reese’s peanut butter cups are to chocolate and peanut butter. Fittingly funky, then, this concert DVD, which features an engaging performance by Corea on keyboards. (Dave Weckl sits in on drums and John Patitucci handles the bass chores.)
Part of Miles Davis’ renowned electric group from 1968 to ’70, Corea has bopped back and forth between the two related but idiosyncratic worlds with great ease ever since, forming Return to Forever, which began as a Latin-flavored group, with Stan Getz, and then shifting seamlessly back toward electric fusion and a greater fame. Since the late ’70s, Corea has alternated in the electric and acoustic realms with his Elektric and Akoustic Bands, recording in contexts ranging from solo and duo projects to larger group affairs. In the process, he’s been nominated for 25 Grammys, and won eight.
Live at the Maintenance Shop is sheer proof of this magnificence, and Corea’s skill. Recorded at Iowa State University circa 1987, and timing out at about 75 minutes, it features a pared-down set list consisting of “Sidewalk,” “India Town,” “Malaguena,” “King Cockroach” and the winding, 14-minute-plus “Rumble,” which has a throaty, full-bodied bass line that underscores its title. Corea enthralls throughout, making this title an easy, engaging showcase for longtime fans and jazz newcomers alike.
Housed in a regular Amray plastic case with a striking red-and-white cover, this region-free disc — distributed exclusively internationally by Quantum Leap — is presented in a standard 4×3 format, with a Dolby digital audio mix. Bonus materials consist of a simple, but welcome text band biography and discography, as well as information on other Quantum Leap releases. To purchase the disc via Amazon, click here. B+ (Concert) C- (Disc)