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November 25, 2007

Saw the Chick Corea Freedom Band in Edmonton

Chick Corea Freedom Band played last night at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. It was a very good show. The band was phenomenal, as I had expected. The sound in the Winspear Centre is very good and there are no bad seats in there.

This is an all-acoustic quartet featuring past collaborators Eddie Gomez on bass and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira with an old friend but new musical associate flautist Hubert Laws.

They started out by playing "100 Miles High" and "Waltz For Debbie" - just an amazing start of the night, and it just continued in this fashion. Chick said he had always wanted to play "Waltz For Debbie" with bass player Eddie Gomez, who played for many years with Bill Evans. Eddie Gomez played so good on the bass - my jaw dropped several times. These guys aren't teenagers anymore, and it's inspiring to learn you can play incredibly well even though you're way past middle age.

Chick went back and forth between piano and electric piano, and even used some synthesizer sounds sometimes. He played mostly piano though. Man, Chick is unbelievable. His timing is so perfect, and it seems nothing is impossible for him to play, musically speaking. A true master.

During the encore, Chick played the electric piano and he could not hear himself in the monitor, so he waved the sound engineer gut onto the stage during the song to try and get it fixex. Chick tried to play the electric piano a couple of times during that song but he just waved his hands at the electric piano, a gesture that seemed to say, "ah, screw that", and went back to piano.

It was very obvious that the band had a lot of fun together, this being their first time ever they all played together. Chick said in the beginning, "Have a good time and do whatever you want. Take photos, sing along, talk on your cellphone. Enjoy yourselves - that's what we are gonna do". And so they did. It was very impressive.

They ended with a very inspirational version "Desafinado". Standing ovations of course. The drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira was also incredibly inspiring to watch and hear.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on November 25, 2007

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