Category: Corea, Chick

JazzWax interview: Chick Corea in 2011

chickCoreaMarc Myers from JazzWax interviewed the great Chick Corea on the eve of the pianists 70th birthday in 2011. It’s a big three parter, and it covers, as Myers says, all “20 different jazz careers” Corea has had. From the interview:

JW: Much has been written about Bob Dylan going electric in 1965 and the uproar. Miles Davis did the same thing with jazz and so did you, generating similar hostility. How do you feel about those years looking back?

CC: The sound of jazz began to change during the time I was in Miles’ band. Before joining Miles, I had been pretty much a purist in my tastes. I loved Miles and John Coltrane and all the musicians who surrounded them. But I didn’t look much further into rock or pop. I listened to a little bit of classical music, but that was it for me. When Miles began to experiment, I became aware of rock bands and the energy and the different type of communication they had with audiences during a show…

Click here to read JazzWax interview: Chick Corea in 2011

—Peter Blasevick

Chick Corea: Further Explorations of Bill Evans

chickCoreaHere is a cool 2000 Chick Corea interview with Marius Nordal from Downbeat. The interview was conducted just as the pianist was about to commemorate the 20th anniversary of jazz piano hero Bill Evans‘ death with a major two-week engagement called “Further Explorations” at New York’s Blue Note. Corea covers a number of Bill Evans related talk, and also manages to cover other topics as well. From the interview:

Nordal: Bill Evans generally had a gentle, lyrical approach to the piano – you’re often more dynamic, energetic and rhythmic. Did he influence your compositions or concept of touch and sound on the piano when you were developing musically? 

Corea: It was Bill’s sound that I loved as soon as I heard it. He knew how to touch the piano gently and elicit such a beautiful and recognizable tone from the instrument. Up to that time, most jazz pianists were accustomed to playing inferior instruments: old, out of tune, out of regulation and generally beat up. That was the “club piano.” But Bill was aware of the fine sound that a well-prepared grand could deliver. It’s odd that Art Tatum is the only pianist I know of before Bill that also had that feather-light touch – even though he probably spent his early years playing on really bad instruments.

Bill’s harmonic sense and approach to the standards certainly made a big impression on me. I was more encouraged to produce a beautiful sound on the piano.

Click here to read Chick Corea: Further Explorations of Bill Evans  

—Peter Blasevick


Chick Corea: Five Decades of Music In a One-Hour Interview

It’s the great Chick CoreachickCorea‘s birthday today! In this 2010 interview with Russ Davis at the Chamber Music America 2010 conference in New York, Chick discusses everything from who gave him that lasting nickname “Chick” to how he and Herbie Hancock learned to avoid stepping on each other’s toes while playing in a duo setting to how he got “roped into” projects as diverse as doing Mozart duets with vocalist Bobby McFerrin and playing live on the Grammy Awards show with rock band The Foo Fighters and so much more.

—Peter Blasevick

Chick Corea interviewed by Billy Taylor

Here is a cool CBS Sunday morning segment on pianist Chick Corea featuring clips of his Akoustic Band and Elektric Band. Dr. Billy Taylor interviewed Chick for this show in the mid 1980s and both the interviews and live clips are fantastic. You even meet Chick’s mother!

If anyone can help with an exact dating of this interview, please shoot me an email.

—Peter Blasevick

Four Chick Corea Interviews with Les Tomkins plus Gary Burton!

Chick Corea keeps putting out great music; his latest duo recording with Gary Burton is testament to that! Here are four interviews with the pianist, all between 1972 and 1982. The final one, from 1982, is actually a joint interview with longtime collaborator Burton, and in it he discusses preparing for a tour together:

How much actual preparation do you need before embarking on a concert tour together?

The groundwork has already been laid in the past year since we’ve developed our way of working together. The only additional preparation we ever do is finding music to play; I compose, we find other compositions to do, and we work them into the repertoire by going over them once or twice, then finding where to drop the new piece into the performance. Except the next album project we have in mind is going to take quite a bit of preparation, actually, because I’m going to write a piece for Gary and myself with a string quartet as well. So the composing will be a process, and then us looking at the music, getting accustomed to it, and seeing how to make it work with the strings will be a full process in itself. I’m looking forward to that. The music will be sort of like a double concerto idea, where there’s two soloists and an orchestra that’s made up of four strings.

Click here to read Four Chick Corea Interviews with Les Tomkins plus Gary Burton!

Chick Corea’s Spirit of Creativity

In this 2003 interview with R.J. DeLuke for, pianist Chick Corea laments:

“I see that the world is more turbulent now than it ever was and the music is not reflecting it,” says the composer-pianist. “There was more freedom of expression in the ’60s. There was revolt. There was ‘We want freedom.’ There was Martin Luther King, human rights coming to the fore. Today, a lot of that is under wraps and gone suppressed. So the music we hear is kind of just ‘nice’ music. There’s not a lot of cutting edge music going on, and yet the world is in total turbulence. War is all over the place.”

Also in the interview, Chick discusses his early days as a player, his first breaks, and how blessed he feels to be a musician:

“Being a musician doing what I’m doing at all is like leading a pretty charmed life, traveling around playing the music I love to play – and my own music, mostly, for my whole life. I continue to love doing what I’m doing. To have the friendship and the musical partnership with the greatest musicians alive is, of course, an honor and a great joy each time it happens.”

Click here to read Chick Corea’s Spirit of Creativity

In Conversation with Chick Corea

Ted Panken interviewed Chick Corea on May 26, 2009 for and asked about everything from life on the road to his years with Miles to Bud Powell at Birdland.

Click here to read In Conversation with Chick Corea