This week, let's take a look at some video of the Chick Corea Trio with Christian McBride and Brian Blade, who will be in St. Louis to perform on Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22 at Jazz at the Bistro.
While all three musicians have played St. Louis before on multiple occasions with other groups, this will be their first performance here together. Corea, McBride and Blade made their debut as a trio in 2010 with tours of the US and Japan, and in 2013 released Trilogy, a three-CD set mixing original material and standards that was recorded live on tour all over the world. It was generally well-received by fans and critics, and wound up winning two Grammy Awards in 2014, for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo, for Corea's work on his song Fingerprints."
The elder statesman of the group at age 75, Corea has been considered one of the top pianists in jazz for a half-century now. Meanwhile, though they're a generation younger at 44 and 45 respectively, both McBride and Blade are established bandleaders and recording artists with their own fan bases, which no doubt has helped broaden the trio's appeal.
Given the high profiles of all three members, most of their performances have been at festivals, concert halls, and theaters, but in St. Louis, listeners will have a chance to check them out up close in the relatively intimate confines of the 220-seat Bistro.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here's a collection of mostly fan-made videos of the trio recorded at various performances over the past four years. While the video quality ranges from pretty good to just barely OK, they all have listenable audio and more important, all should help convey something of the experience of being within a few yards- or in some cases, just a few feet- of the performance.
For starters, you can check out two relatively recent clips from a show in September 2016 at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. The first, up above this paragraph, is a version of Fingerprints," and the second, after the jump, is an update on Corea's tune Armando's Rhumba."
The other four clips are all from 2012, starting with an excerpt of a performance of Miles Davis' All Blues" from the London Jazz Festival in November of that year.
After that, you can see the trio playing Thelonious Monk's Work" at a concert in Maribor, Slovinia; an excerpt from another show featuring some free form impvov in Zürich, Switzerland; and last but not least, a jam session at the Tbilisi Jazz Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the US state) in which Corea shares the piano bench with Georgian keyboardist Beka Gochiashvili, who recently has toured with Corea's longtime colleague, bassist Stanley Clarke.