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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

A Very Special Concert


Chick Corea
Joe Henderson
Stanley Clarke
Lenny White



A Very Special Concert

  1. Opening
  2. L’s Bop
  3. Why wait
  4. 500 Miles High
  5. Guernica

Chick Corea – Piano
Stanley Clarke – Bass
Joe Henderson – Tenor
Lenny White – Drums

This DVD contains some fascinating musical improvisations from musicians at the peak of their ability. It was recorded in 1982, live at Wolf and Rissmiller’s Country Club in Reseda, California. The band were held up by bad weather on the east coast and only arrived just in time to do the gig, somehow this unfortunate experience galvanised everyone to give of their very best.

Whilst I confess to a dislike of the kind of ‘free’ jazz that has no time, no structure and no chord sequence, this music is different. It has developed from jazz roots; it is unfettered by fusion (but not influence) and is in fact a wonderful musical experience.

Although the music is now 20 years old it has a very modern feel to it, the musicians concerned were by that time fully established in the jazz world and they obviously enjoy working together. The trio of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White has a perfect understanding. No doubt this was developed during there times together in the ‘Return to Forever’ band. The playing of all three is a revelation, they truly are all masters of their respective instruments. Joe Henderson, for reasons that are difficult to understand, was only recognised as the genius he is during the last few years of his life. (He died in 2001). Much of his life had been spent as an academic passing on his skills to young players. He had a phenomenal technique on the instrument and constantly pushed the frontiers of the possible.

L’s Bop, Why Wait and Guernica feature the whole band, whilst 500 Miles High, a Chick Corea original features the trio.

What I found pleasing about this DVD, is that there is an interesting talk by Gary Legon on how the session came about and the technical challenges and biographies of the musicians. The DVD format makes this possible for every album, but so far the issuing companies rarely take it up.

If you are a contemporary jazz fan you will enjoy this one, but it is more important than just that, it is something that everyone who likes jazz of any kind should listen to and enjoy.

Don Mather

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