Chick Corea & Origin

Origin: Live at Blue Note

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Recording live at New York's Blue Note club, Chick Corea unveiled another new group, the challenging Origin acoustic sextet, on this CD, winnowing down some 12 sets into an hour-plus package. With Steve Davis (trombone) and Bob Sheppard and Steve Wilson (flutes and reeds) up front, Corea had a flexible horn choir to write for, and he uses mellow, urbane voicings that recall some of the Herbie Hancock Sextet's early work in the late '60s. The interplay that Avishai Cohen (bass), Adam Cruz (drums), and Corea have with the horns, though, is anything but mellow, and frequently they strike combative sparks against each other. Some of the selections, including "Double Image" (no relation to Joe Zawinul's electric jazz classic) and "Dreamless," have Latin-ish grooves -- which are no strangers to Corea's Spanish heart -- in spots. Corea's compositions are often fairly uneven -- the allegedly Ellington-inspired convolutions of "Molecules" especially try the patience -- yet everything here testifies to Corea's still restless, creatively vigorous nature at age 56. For some unknown reason, the Japanese version of the disc is said to contain an extra track, "Sifu," recorded in Corea's home with just the piano trio.

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