Is it possible to be creative by only emphasizing the positives? Jazz legend and keyboard tinkler extraordinaire Chick Corea certainly thinks so as he prepares for what has effectively become an annual visit to Japan with a number of shows lined up at Tokyo’s Blue Note and several other venues around the country.
“The golden rule is you treat others well and you will be treated well back,” he tells The Japan Times by telephone from Los Angeles, talking about the ease with which he is able to collaborate with different musicians. In the past couple of years he has played with a wide range of outfits, from his recent jazz-fusion quintet, the Five Peace Band, and various trios to playing fourhand with Herbie Hancock.
But, working with so many different musicians in a genre where personalities are very much to the fore in the playing, aren’t there ever clashes and disagreements?
“Are you searching for a problem, man?” Corea responds somewhat defensively. “I’m rich in musician friends and the collaborations have been with musicians that I’ve known for many, many years,” he adds. “It’s all very inspiring to me to be able to work with these different great musicians, and I get inspired. There are a lot of pluses.”
While last year’s visit featured a trio with bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White, this year’s trio features Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Both musicians have played with Corea in the Five Peace Band. So what differences can audiences expect from this trio?
“Last year with Stanley and Lenny, we played mostly standards and things that were familiar to us from our jazz past,” Corea replies. “This time we’re doing a bit of that, but also a lot of new music has been written.”
The Chick Corea Trio play at Blue Note in Tokyo on Dec. 3-4, 9-12; Blue Note in Nagoya on Dec. 6; Geibun Hall in Sapporo on Dec. 8; Iwate Kenmin Kaikan in Morioka on Dec. 14; and Sendai Seinen Bunka Center in Sendai on Dec. 15. Ticket prices and start times vary. For more information, visit www.chickcorea.com.