February 18, 2017 01:00 By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul THE NATION
The Grammy-laden jazz fusion pioneer hits town next month with the magical Elektric Band
CHICK COREA is a name that inspires awe among the millions of jazz fusion fans around the world, and the man who owns it is rolling into Bangkok for the first time with his Elektric Band on March 11.
The guy who basically invented the genre alongside Miles Davis and has amassed 22 Grammy Awards is celebrating his 75th birthday in June by touring the world again with the reunited Electrik Band.
Pheeraphon Pipawakorn of Cadenza Performing Arts Organiser, which has booked Corea’s Thailand debut for the Kbank Siam Pic-Ganesha Theatre, says the unparalleled keyboardist is “a walking university” of jazz.
“He’s always collaborated with newcomers, pushing them on to stardom. The Chick Corea Elektric Band was really popular in the ’80s and ’90s and all of its members were – and still are – great. They’re like a living music textbook. We want the great jazz artists to inspire our own jazz musicians. Koh Mr Saxman has said he was inspired by Eric Marienthal, the Grammy-winning saxophonist who’s also in the Electrik Band.
“And in addition to the concert we’re even arranging a workshop in cooperation with the Yamaha Music School.”
While Corea has obviously amassed a wealth of experience in his 75 years and the guys in the Electrik Band arrived with plenty of their own, says Pheeraphon, they will have all learned even more in the 12 years they’ve been apart. “So it will be a great concert and a very cool scene.”
As well as Corea and Marienthal, the band also features John Patitucci on bass, Frank Gambale on guitar and Dave Weckl on drums.
Having replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ group and further split the jazz atom with his own ground-breaking outfit Return to Forever, Corea put the Electrik Band together in 1986 as a jazz rock ensemble and an eponymously titled album soon followed.
The second disc, “Light Years”, was funkier and the third, “Eye of the Beholder”, relied more on acoustic arrangements. Into the ’90s, the fourth album “Inside Out” went for post-pop, but “Beneath the Mask” marked a return to electric jazz funk. After a long hiatus ending in 2004, the reunion release “To the Stars” earned a warm welcome.
Suphakij Jitklongsub, director of Bangkok Christian College and founder of Go Forward Music, says the concert is being mounted to raise funds for the Chaipattana Foundation, for a “community band to create and sustain something of value for the country” – the Bang Rak Symphonic Band or Silom Symphony Orchestra – and for the Bangkok Christian College band Drumline to travel to a competition in the US.
“Drumline entered in the WGI World Music Championships in 2014 and was named best team band in Thailand and second-best in Asia,” Suphakij points out.
“We want to see music become more developed in Thailand, to have an influence on people’s lives and thinking. Go Forward Music aims for concerts that present ‘clean music’. Famous musicians like Chick Corea can be an inspiration for the next generation with their good, positive music, the kind of music that can sustain a society while entertaining people at the same time.”
NOT TO BE MISSED
- Catch the Chick Corea Elektric Band at the Kbank Siam Pic-Ganesha Theatre at Siam Square One on March 11 at 7.30pm.
- Seats cost Bt1,800 to Bt4,500 at (02) 262 3456 and www.ThaiTicketMajor.com.
- Find out more at www.Facebook.com/bccgoforwardmusic.com.