Lynn René Bayley
, September 2012
This 1997 Munich concert by Chick Corea and Gary Burton generally duplicates most of the material on their duet CD of the time, Native Sense: The New Duets; but of course, being jazz musicians, their playing is anything but the same. I really enjoy the opening number, Love Castle…
…a medley in which Corea’s own tune Postscript is sandwiched between two reworkings of Bartók bagatelles… Locked into more complex harmonies, suddenly inspired and spurring each other on, Corea and Burton light up the Munich Philharmonie and the audience knows it—what was merely polite applause for the first four numbers suddenly becomes an explosion of joyous, spontaneous approval. From that point on, this concert rises above the mundane and becomes magical.
Thus the duo progresses from marvel to marvel, Burton’s vibes humming merrily to a dance that only the pair of them can feel inside their heads, Corea sometimes leading but just as often following his partner. Monk’s classic Four in One is sped up, dissected, and reassembled to suit their own lights; I’ve not heard a better version than one of Monk’s own. Corea’s highly imaginative and rhythmically fractured Tango ’92 becomes yet another highlight, and practically blends into another of his Latin-inspired compositions, Rhumbata.
One realizes that this closed the planned portion of the program when we see Corea and Burton walk off stage during the thunderous applause, but they return to give not one but two encores: Corea’s tribute to one of his childhood idols, Bud Powell, and a brand-new version of a tune that became a fan favorite with his early ’70s band Return to Forever, La Fiesta. The familiar melody is dissected, fractured in rhythm, reworked harmonically, then put back together by Burton and Corea to create an entirely new edifice using older materials. This is truly great art.
The lighting and camerawork are excellent, the images clear, and the choice of shots well made. The music…is undeniably great. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review