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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DVD REVIEW

CHICK COREA &
FRIEDRICH GULDA

The Meeting

Arthaus Musik 101 634

 

 

Solo Part 1: Friedrich Gulda
1. Paraphrase on "Concerto for Ursula"
2. Sonata for Piano K 330
3. Paraphrase on "Concerto for Ursula"
4. Dance
5. Play Piano Play No. 1
6. Aria
7. Prelude and Fugue
8. Paraphrase on "Die Reblaus"
 
Solo Part 2: Chck Corea
9. Improvisation on "Round Midnight"
10. Improvisation II, III, IV
 
The Meeting: Chick Corea & Friedrich Gulda
11. Some Day My Prince Will Come
12. Put Your Little Foot Right Out
13. Poem No. 3
14. Wiegenlied
 
Chick Corea, Friedrich Gulda - Pianos
 

Chick Corea said of this recital "it was crazy music". Chick had been invited as the only jazz musician to take part in the 1982 Munich Klaviersommer, with the idea that he would simply appear on stage and improvise with Viennese pianist Friedrich Gulda. Gulda was not interested in meeting Corea beforehand or planning what they would play. A toss of a coin decided that Friedrich would play some solos first, then Corea, and then the two would play together.

Jazz fans might have expected the result to be of interest because Chick was already a well-known jazzman, and Gulda - despite his training as a classical pianist - had shown much interest in jazz. However, as the tune titles above suggest, there was a strong classical bias to the concert, with only two jazz standards in the repertoire. You might say that the spirit of jazz was present in much of the music because of the strong element of improvisation from both musicians, but even Chick's Improvisation on "Round Midnight" starts off with Debussyesque wandering, taking time to reach Thelonious Monk's tune and then moving away again in what often sounds like doodling. The three Improvisations which follow are similarly meandering.

Friedrich Gulda's extemporisations are equally rambling: semi-classical rather than jazz, and he plays Mozart's Piano Sonata K 330 straight. Only when the two pianists play together is there much of a jazz content, with more doodling eventually leading into Some Day My Prince Will Come. The interplay between the two pianists is fascinating, as it is in Put Your Little Foot Right Out (a tune called "Fran Dance" by Miles Davis), where you can see each musician being stimulated by the other's phrases to explore new ideas. When the pair slide almost imperceptibly into Brahms' Wiegenlied as an appropriate lullaby to end the concert, the classical element reappears.

Seeing the artistry of these two master musicians - alone or together - will be rewarding to any music lover, although real jazz only occupies a small proportion of the DVD.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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