The bigger the legend, the more prolific the tributes. When piano giant Chick Corea passed away last spring it took the music world by complete surprise. His close friends and family knew he’d been ill. Anytime that happens, fittingly, posthumous tributes from colleagues, cronies and fans tend to roll in. More than most musicians of his era, Chick Corea had a significant impact over the entire music community.
Pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias, as well as Hiromi , were but two of his charges who went on to establish themselves as virtuosi in their own regard.
While Hiromi took the quick and nimble road, Elias tended to focus on Corea’s lyricism and global interests. Particularly the Latin-crossover musings.
“Mirror Mirror” (Candid Records) is a collection of pure piano duets between Corea, Elias and another monolith: Chucho Valdes. Elias’ vocal style is something of a cross between Chet Baker and Andy Bey. For me, it’s an acquired taste and not her forte. They are left out of this tribute, as is any other instrument. Corea, Valdes and Elias fans, or just piano lovers in general will positively revel in the musicianship and camaraderie.
Also On Candid Records: Stacey Kent “Songs From Other Places.” This recording is both departure and homecoming. Kent began her sparkling career at this label, went to Blue Note/EMI for a while and is now back to her start. Label-wise only, I’d say. This is a highly intimate one: Just her and pianist Art Hirahara. Kent has always had a wide palate. 60’s through present-day pop and alternative tunes have dotted her landscape. As has the standard book, classical and more. She revisits Fleetwood Mac’s “Landscape” and chooses other pure gems and unknowns for this well-rounded return to the studio.
It was produced by her partner in life and omnipresent musical ally, Jim Tomlinson.