Chick Corea’s early solo work reissued by ECM

Corea album cover Back in 1971, Chick Corea put out a couple of solo acoustic albums for the then fledgling ECM label. The records — “Piano Improvisations, Vols. 1 and 2” — represented a radical departure for the musician associated with Miles Davis’ peak electric period, and his own pioneering fusion efforts with Return to Forever, which he formed that same year.

Those familiar with Corea’s 1968 trio recording, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” (a desert island disc if there ever was one!) might not have been surprised at Corea’s percussive yet delicate, crystalline phrasing on “Improvisations,” which triggered a newfound interest in acoustic, free jazz, with Keith Jarrett releasing his own ECM solo piano debut, “Facing You,” later that same year.

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