Chick Corea

Expressions

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AllMusic Review by

Having put the Akoustic/Elektric band to bed, Chick Corea didn't delve into another group project right away, opting instead to get in touch with himself on the solo Expressions. This is just Corea on a Yamaha grand piano thumbing through a songbook that includes standards as well as one new track, "Blues for Art." (The disc is dedicated to Art Tatum.) Sometimes subverting the original melodies ("I Want to Be Happy") and other times giving them fairly straight interpretations (his own "Armando's Rhumba"), Corea seems comfortable, if not always inspired. However, unless you're well acquainted with the original versions, it's nearly impossible to glean what the pianist is adding to (or saying about) the music. Because of the similar circumstances for each recording, individual tracks rarely stand out from the whole. There are discernible moods as the pianist waxes sentimental ("This Was Nearly Mine"), indulges in the intellectual ("Oblivion"), or grows restless ("It Could Happen to You"), but the tricks and timbres become familiar before long. Corea has released relatively few works of solo piano, and they tend to be hit-or-miss affairs. By revisiting the standards, Expressions at least gives listeners a point of reference to enjoy this music from, but those looking for dazzling technique or brilliant revisionism will find better examples of these peppered throughout Corea's catalog. It's not a lightweight record, but reputations are made from stronger stuff.

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