Friday, 20 April 2018

Chick Corea & Steve Kujala - Voyage (1985)

A particularly gorgeous one-off on a label stuffed with them, particularly in the 70s and 80s, Voyage was recorded in July 1984 following a tour between these two Americans, the legendary Corea who was no stranger to ECM by this stage, and innovative flautist Kujala, making what would be his only appearance on the label.

Chick Corea is on fine form throughout these five tracks - three original compositions, interspersed with freely improvised co-creations with Kujala.  Bringing his sprightly upbeat pianism to the fore straight away (in a typically sparkling digital recording), Corea leads an energetic mid-morning skip to the beach on the lengthy opener Mallorca, originally written to be a guitar/piano duet with Paco DeLucia.  Kujala, who pioneered a kind of 'bending' flute technique that could take its sound closer to that of a shakuhachi, fills in the atmosphere like a gentle breeze through the trees.

The second 10+ minute track, and the first free improv, Diversions might inevitably be more abstract, but still sounds gorgeous throughout, particularly when Kujala is given an unaccompanied spotlight about five minutes in, after which he returns the courtesy to Corea.  We get more solo Corea at the start of the album's second half, in the almost indescribably beautiful Star Island, before Kujala returns a minute and a half into the next on-the-fly duet,  titled Free Fall but still full of gentle ease and repose.  The album ends on an upbeat note with one more Corea composition, Hong Kong.  In conclusion, if you were charting a voyage through the more unexplored seas of ECM, this might just be one of the singularly paradisaical islands available to discover.  Unreservedly recommended.

mega / zippy

6 comments:

  1. Been wanting this for a long time. Dont know why I dont own this already being a fan of both Kajula and Senior Corea. Thanks for making the effort to share this album!

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  2. Jazz is a genre I usually don't get into, in part because I'm so unfamiliar with it, but this one really tickled me in all the right ways. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thank you very much for all the material that you share. Your blog is my favorite. Always attentive to what you post. Thank you.

    Moro

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