When Chick Corea was an up-and-coming modern acoustic jazz pianist, he recorded for the Atlantic, Blue Note, and Solid State labels, producing Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Song of Singing, and Inner Space. These three sessions, mostly trio dates with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Miroslav Vitous, signified Corea as a strong melodicist, inventive composer, and deft player. For those who wish to discover Corea before he turned on the electricity, this is an excellent place to start. Originals such as "Straight Up and Down," "Tones for Joan's Bones," "Matrix," "Windows," and "Toy Room" show a challenging side of Corea that made him noticeable and unique. Occasionally, a larger ensemble does crop up here and there. Although his sessions for the Groove Merchant label -- dates with drummer Pete La Roca and the pivotal Is recording where he switched to the Fender Rhodes piano -- are not included, this is still a fascinating overview of where he was heading, especially considering his much edgier creative improvising work that followed with the A.R.C. trio and Anthony Braxton's Circle, prior to Return to Forever. It's highly recommended music from a burgeoning master.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos