Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian, ‘Further Explorations’

‘Further Explorations’

It is not hyperbole to call this a monumental recording. “Further Explorations’’ unites pianist Chick Corea with two alumni of Bill Evans’s trios - bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Paul Motian (who died in November) - in reinterpreting songs associated with Evans. The tenures of Motian and Gomez in the Evans trio did not overlap, so it’s interesting to hear them join up on this double-CD set, which is drawn from a two-week stand at the Blue Note in 2010. Gomez’s strong bass lines are anchors throughout these 18 tunes. This is essential, because Motian is not the sort of drummer who keeps time; in his hands, the drum kit is like any other tool of improvisation, and he never plays the same phrase from bar to bar. Corea doesn’t try to be Evans; it would be ridiculous if he did. Evans was an impressionist with a light touch; Corea regales the listener with dramatic flourishes, sharp turns, and dazzling runs. Not only does the trio turn over new delights in familiar numbers like “Gloria’s Step’’ and “Turn Out the Stars,’’ but it even unearths “Song No. 1,’’ an Evans composition he never recorded. (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “Gloria’s Step’’