Tones for Joan's Bones, Chick Corea's first session as a leader, is a blazing, advanced hard bop set from late 1966, with writing that reveals an affinity with McCoy Tyner's seminal hard bop structures from this period. Tenor player Joe Farrell and trumpeter Woody Shaw are ideal for this music. They deliver virtuoso performances that are both visceral and cerebral. Steve Swallow, while later focusing exclusively on electric bass, often with a melodic, impressionistic approach, is pure thunder here. In a blindfold test his acoustic bass could be mistaken for Buster Williams'. Drummer Joe Chambers is all relentless, propulsive energy, but subtle too. Corea is a torrent of harmonic and melodic imagination, couched in unerring rhythm. Anybody with an interest in this vital and exciting period will find this session indispensable.
Tones for Joan's Bones Review
by Jim Todd