Not sure if there are any Chick Corea fans out there, but I've been listening to him for a long time. I got into the Elektric Band and Akoustic Band a while back, mainly because I like to listen to John Pattitucci (bass) and Dave Weckl (drums). Those guys are phenomenal. After a while, Chick's composing and keyboard playing really grew on me.
Anyway, I just picked up Chick's latest CD The Ultimate Adventure. The liner notes state that the album was inspired by the L. Rob Hubbard book of the same name. Apparently the book has an Arabian theme/setting, and the music reflects that. A lot of North African, Spanish, and Arabian rythms, modes, and percussion.
I can't remember the last time I heard such a dramatic album! I've been listening to it in the car and at home and smiling from ear to ear. Vinnie Colaiuta wields the drum sticks on some of the tracks, with Steve Gadd taking up the skins on the balance of the arrangements (these guys are both drum legends). Patitucci is not present, but the bass-playing duties are covered with equal aplomb by Carles Benavent. He's got a rather agressive playing style which I really like. On the few tracks with guitar, Elektric Band alumnus Frank Gambale makes his presence felt.
Check out City of Brass, which is arranged with only Chick's piano, flute, bass, and Hossam Ramzy's percussion. I was interested to read that the track started as an improvisation with only piano and tabla. All the rest of the instruments were added later.
Arabian and African flavor abound on this album. The recording quality is top-notch, and the music is alluring and exciting. I can't wait to listen to it again later this week after my LSi7's arrive!