Chick Corea's greatest trio or small ensemble very likely is this one, with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes.Their virtuoso level of musicianship and acute listening skills are translated into stellar recordings over two nights of performances in Willisau and Reutlinger, edited and condensed on this single CD. Where any outtakes are hiding might provide a further revelation, but as it stands, this release is a high-water mark for these brilliant musicians. Corea's strengths lie not only in his witty, effervescent playing, but in his compositions that showcase his mischievous personality. "The Loop" kicks off the set, a spirited waltz chock-full of his impish flourishes. Combining Alexander Scriabin's "Prelude #2" with the original "Mock Up," Corea's solo piano transforms from soft and serene romantic to hooking up with the trio driving fast in modal motifs and his bouncy signature sound, electrified by the brilliant, harmonic infused, soaring bowed bass of Vitous, solo and with the group. It is always a treat to hear the infrequently recorded Vitous in a setting that suits him, especially playing by himself on the improvisation "Transformation" and the free to neo-bop closer "Mirovisions," where Corea's playful and diffuse piano in 4/4 time suggests 3/4 within ethnic, gypsy elements. Two standards "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "Summer Night" get extended, extensive and exhaustive treatments -- the former an utterly unique extrapolation, interpretation at its finest, the latter a deeply midnight blue hued modal and straight-ahead excursion in the favored waltz tempo that bears repeat listening over its fourteen-and-a-half minutes. Haynes also gets the solo spotlight on "Hittin' It," a self-explanatory track. Close to perfect, undeniably strong, willful, and musical beyond compare, Trio Music, Live in Europe belongs in your collection, and is simply as good as modern progressive mainstream jazz gets.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos