Chick Corea & Hiromi: Duet

Recorded live at Tokyo’s Blue Note Jazz Club, Duet continues Chick Corea’s streak of exceptional albums with unimaginative titles. Chick hasn’t released a piano duet album since his 1978 live double album with fellow Miles Davis alumnus Herbie Hancock, and while that record was a meeting of two peers, Chick’s partner on Duet, Japanese pianist Hiromi, was a year away from birth when Chick dueled with Herbie in ’78. As one might expect, Hiromi’s youthful exuberance matches – and sometimes surpasses – what was going down 30 years ago. Just one listen to the pair’s wildly playful take on Chick’s “Humpty Dumpty” and Monk’s “Bolivar Blues” may be enough to make it feel like this is the first and best time the dual piano format has been explored, not to mention the tension that Chick cleverly builds with his trademark percussive smacking of the keys during a neat take on the Beatles’ “The Fool on the Hill.” (Concord 2009)

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