Connect with us

Entertainment

Chick Corea, iconic jazz keyboardist, dead at 79

Published

on

Chick Corea, iconic jazz keyboardist, dead at 79

Jazz keyboardist Chick Corea has died at the age of 79.

“It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, Chick Corea passed away at the age of 79, from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently,” an announcement on Corea’s Facebook page, posted Thursday afternoon, read.

Corea “was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many,” the message continued, in part.

“Though he would be the first to say that his music said more than words ever could, he nevertheless had this message for all those he knew and loved, and for all those who loved him: ‘I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.’

“And to my amazing musician friends who have been like family to me as long as I’ve known you: It has been a blessing and an honor learning from and playing with all of you.”

Corea was often seen — along with Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett — as one of the most important pianists in jazz to emerge after the 1960s. Born June 12, 1941, the Massachusetts native started playing piano at the age of four, spurred by his father, a local jazz trumpeter. He moved to New York City after high school and briefly studied at both Columbia and Juilliard before dropping out. By the early ’60s, Corea had played with significant names in jazz and Latin-adjacent music like Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Mann and Stan Getz.

Corea released more “conventional” jazz records at the beginning of his career, such as the 1968 trio set “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.” He would reunite with the personnel of that record — which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 — over the years, including for a 1982 performance at the White House. But an early and key part of his career was his time in Miles Davis’ groundbreaking electric group, playing on a run of late ’60s albums — “Bitches Brew” and “In a Silent Way” — that have passed into jazz legend.

Corea’s unique approach to the electric piano can be heard in Davis’ set at the 1968 Isle of Wight Festival, which, with attendance conservatively estimated at 600,000, was by far the largest audience Davis — or indeed, any jazz musician — ever played to. Eventually, Corea left Davis’ band and formed a short-lived free jazz “supergroup,” Circle, with Davis’ bassist Dave Holland and avant-garde saxophonist Anthony Braxton.

Corea launched his electric group Return to Forever with an album of the same name in 1972, now seen as a watershed recording for jazz fusion, which was set to become the most commercially popular permutation of jazz for the 1970s.

But no one setting defined Corea’s career: He often performed as in duos with collaborators as far-ranging as banjoist Béla Fleck, though fellow Davis bandmate Hancock was one of his most frequent partners. And he composed a piano concerto based on one of his most-loved jazz compositions, “Spain,” performing it in 1999 with the London Philharmonic.

Corea continued to tour and record with various groups as he passed from young lion to elder statesman. He maintained and rotated through both “Elektric” and “Akoustic” bands that were often in high demand, both anchored by Brooklyn native John Patitucci on bass.

Corea was, funnily enough, briefly at the center of a minor diplomatic kerfuffle between the United States and Germany in 1993. Having read “Dianetics” by L. Ron Hubbard in 1968 and fallen under the thrall of Scientology, Corea was never shy about his interest in the controversial Church. Organizers of a concert he was slated to perform in Baden-Württemberg decided to bar him from performing based on his involvement with Scientology, leading multiple members of Congress, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, to send formal letters condemning the action to the German Ambassador over the flap. (He would perform in Germany many more times following the incident.)

Following news of Corea’s death, some of the brightest names in contemporary jazz, like Thundercat and Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, rushed to add their voices to those memorializing Corea. One surprising tribute came from comedian Eric Andre — himself a Berklee-trained bassist — who posted a clip of Corea playing live with Miles Davis in 1969.

Corea — who picked up a staggering 23 Grammys from nearly 70 nominations —authored a book, “A Work in Progress … On Being a Musician,” that he published in 2002. In its introduction, he wrote, “Being a musician is what I’ve been at the longest and is the ‘hat’ I’ve loved like no other.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

‘Godzilla vs. King Kong’ to become highest-grossing film of pandemic

Published

on

'Godzilla vs. King Kong' to become highest-grossing film of pandemic

It’s a roarrr-ing success!

“Godzilla vs. King Kong” is on track to become the highest-grossing North American film since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warner Bros. and Legendary flick netted $48.1 million in its first five days since opening in theatres on March 31, Boxoffice Pro reported.

According to the film industry magazine, the movie could have surpassed $57.9 million in sales as early as last Thursday, which would be the most for any film released since March 2020.

Official figures since last weekend have not yet been released.

The epic monster movie is also streaming on HBO Max.

The movie business, like many other industries in the US, took a hit during the pandemic as theaters across the country were forced to close.

Forty percent of the nationwide theaters remain closed, according to Bloomberg.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

DMX fans remember rapper’s sweet ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ cameo

Published

on

DMX fans remember rapper's sweet 'Fresh Off the Boat' cameo

DMX fans are celebrating the late rapper’s funny bone.

The 50-year-old, gravel-voiced musician, who died Friday following an April 2 heart attack triggered by a drug overdose, showed off his comedic delivery in a 2015 episode of the Randall Park-starring ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat.”

In the episode, Louis Huang’s (Park) son Eddie, played by Hudson Yang, gets a part-time job pitching in at the home of a new neighbor — DMX. But Eddie has a lot to learn before he jumps in.

“You look older in person,” Eddie tells him in the episode, titled “We Done Son,” to which a baby-cradling DMX responds, “Fatherhood ages you. I’m tired. Emotional. Crying. Yelling. Pulling up the same cotton commercial. It’s the fabric of our lives.” 

But when an excited Eddie says he can’t wait to clue in his friends about his new gig, the hip-hop legend forks over a multipage nondisclosure agreement for him to sign.

“Sorry, little man; can’t have you blowing up my spot,” he tells the disappointed kid. “It’s the same one Oprah used on Stedman,” DMX adds, referring to Winfrey’s rarely seen longtime partner, Stedman Graham. 

The Ruff Ryder then rattles off a list of chores for Eddie to take on for his newborn daughter, including “baby-proofing the living room” and putting “lavender drops in her cloth diapers.” When Eddie asks why he doesn’t just use disposable ones, an environmentally conscious DMX responds, “ ‘Cuz I ain’t trying to leave some big-ass carbon footprint.”

In another, more touching scene, DMX gives Eddie a tour of his orchid-laden private greenhouse and offers the boy some solid relationship advice.

“When I first started growing orchids, I thought they needed the most expensive soil and lights to blossom. And they died,” the “Party Up (Up in Here)” singer tells Eddie while showing off his floral bounty. “That’s when I realized that all they really needed was time and attention.”

DMX then draws a connection between his horticultural know-how and how to treat women.

“You don’t need to get your girl a gift,” he says. “You need to give her your time.”

That clip brought a wistful reaction from Twitter user and apparent orchid-grower @CharlotteAbotsi, who shared it with a message of foreshadowing. “This morning I woke up to find the last petal of an orchid plant I’ve been trying to nurse on the floor,” she wrote in the tweet. “I should’ve known then. RIP DMX.”

That quick stint on “Fresh Off the Boat” apparently wasn’t DMX’s only connection to sitcom life. During a 2017 episode of the talk show “Hot Ones,” actress Gabrielle Union told host Sean Evans that DMX “loves” the 1980s sitcom “The Golden Girls.”

“That’s a real fun fact,” says Union, who worked with him in the 2003 film “Cradle 2 the Grave.” In the video, Union shares that DMX watched the show in his trailer on set — and invited her to join him over beers. “We would have a Heineken — and sometimes a little Crown [Royal] — and we watched ‘The Golden Girls,’ ” she says, adding, “And he would laugh hysterically.”

Union was also among the celebrities who weighed in on his passing Friday. “No words right now. Nothing but fierce love, prayers and protection for X’s family, friends and fans. This loss is devastating,” she tweeted, adding prayer emojis and a black heart.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Marine vet pens children’s book to help military families cope with deployment separation

Published

on

Marine vet pens children’s book to help military families cope with deployment separation

A Marine veteran has written a children’s book to help kids with the challenges of a parent being deployed.

The book, titled “I Will Come Back,” will be released in May in both Spanish and English.

Author and veteran Padgy Soltis wrote the story based on her son’s experience of living in a dual military family and experiencing the deployment of both parents.

“My hope is that this book will help children experiencing issues with separation from a loved one, whether it is a day or months long,” Soltis said. “It is a reminder that they are always in our hearts regardless of the distance or time.”

Soltis originally wrote the book in 2016, when she began a new career months after her son was born. The author was sent away for two months for training when her son was only eight months old.

Then in 2017, her son’s dad was deployed for six months, a departure that was followed by a nine-month deployment in 2018 for Soltis.

“The most difficult moments between a child and parent are times of separation,” the book’s synopsis reads. “This book is the light at the end of the tunnel when being apart is inevitable. Whether it is making a trip to the grocery store, a weekend away for work, or a nine-month military deployment. ‘I Will Come Back’ reminds children and parents that regardless of the time and distance they may be apart, they will be reunited once again.”

Soltis’ book, originally a poem that helped her adjust to deployed life without her son, is “written in a simple, rhythmic style, [and] it gives kids a reassuring sense that the bond of parenthood and love knows no limits,” Soltis said.

Continue Reading

Trending