Today’s guest is internationally acclaimed, 22-time Grammy-winning pianist Chick Corea, one of the most recognizable artists in modern jazz. JAZZIZ spoke with Chick backstage before his performance at the Concord Jazz Festival in Concord, California, where he and the members of his newly assembled Spanish Heart Band performed selections from their most recent album, Antidote.
The album, released in July, finds Corea returning to one of his longest-held musical passions: the music of Spain. It was a genre he began to explore in his early days as a pianist growing up in Boston, and one that he would continue to hone throughout his prolific career as a leader and collaborator alongside other legends such as Miles Davis, Paco De Lucía and Herbie Hancock. Fans of Corea will instantly recognize some of the material on Antidote, which includes reworkings of classic tunes like “Armando’s Rhumba” and “Duende” from his previous Latin-tinged albums My Spanish Heart and Touchstone. We talked to Chick about the making of the new album and his long-harbored obsession with Spanish music. And, because Chick is such a relentless globetrotter — the day before his Concord set, he had just flown in from Europe; a few days later, he would be leaving for Japan — we ask him about his favorite international destinations and travel tips. Let’s take it backstage.