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High Five

Chick Corea not slowing down


With dozens of Grammy nominations, an extensive, wide-ranging discography and over five decades of artistic output, Chick Corea is undoubtedly one of the most prolific jazz pianists of all time. Since playing on Miles Davis’s legendary jazz-fusion albums “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew,” Corea – also an innovative keyboardist – has established himself at the forefront of the modern jazz scene as a solo artist, bandleader, sideman and with his jazz-fusion group Return to Forever. And, at age 72, Corea – a Chelsea native – is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Beyond his solo piano tour, which comes to The Wilbur Sunday, Corea has spring and summer shows lined up with banjoist Béla Fleck, jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Gary Burton, and his new band the Vigil. Corea shared his thoughts on five jazz pianists who have had a major influence on him.


1. Bud Powell “I learned about a melodic approach to improvisation from Bud. My father introduced me to [his] recordings in the late ’40s – I was about 8 or 9 years old and I worked very hard on transcribing Bud’s music. Bud had such a joy in his playing.”

2. Horace Silver “Horace Silver inspired me to compose music. In the ’50s I came across Horace’s music and began to copy his songs and piano solos from his recordings. I got deep into each new recording as it came out.”

3. Wynton Kelly “Wynton Kelly and Herbie Hancock inspired a sophisticated approach to the blues. Wynton brought a popping bluesy groove with an elegance to the music scene that holds a unique place in our piano culture. He was a perfect accompaniment to Miles’s sophisticated ideas.”

4. Herbie Hancock “I consider him as my brother and I’ve learned from and been inspired by his brilliance and vision since the ’60s.”


5. Art Tatum “Art presented me with a pianistic wonderland and a harmonic depth and freedom to the simplest melodies. He is one of the rare pianists that have that feather-light touch.” Eryn Carlson

Chick Corea plays The Wilbur Theatre, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $39-$75. 617-248-9700, www.thewilbur.com.