Chick Corea's opening piano chords on his original recording of "Spain" suggest an entire orchestration themselves. So, it's easy to hear how he could arrange his ideas for the london philharmonic, fleshing out his widely known Return to Forever tune. Stravinsky and Ravel strongly influence this arrangement, yet Corea keeps a spirit of improvisation embedded throughout. As on Corea's first CD for Sony Classical, with Bobby McFerrin, "The Mozart Sessions," this is jazz swimming in a classical environment. The result is gorgeous.
The second piece, "Concerto No. 1," is both lush and percussive, much like Corea's piano stylings. Again, the jazz influence pervades the theme, improvised cadenzas, and the question-and-answer sessions between piano and orchestra. Particularly notable is the piece's third part, a Copland-esque movement studded with Corea's meticulously precise performance and powerful interplay with full orchestra.
--- Norine Castine, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc.