[Review] Chick Corea: The Song of Singing (1970)

An album of free jazz that you couldn’t pay me to listen to twice.

Kronomyth 4.0: The sound of one hand punching itself in the head for buying this record.

The reason they call this free jazz is because no one in their right mind would pay to hear a bunch of notes randomly strung together, no matter how talented the people (e.g., Chick Corea) stringing them along. But, on the off chance you’re one of those people who believe this is actual music, you’re in for a double-treat: a free prose review of The Song of Singing

Black gnats in a cloud of anthrax, tracking dust on rose-petal hearts, caught in the pitch of a wounded pine, shrieking in fear to the blind divine. Are they in pain or part of a game? Small and tentative shapes emerge on the verge of an encroaching and swallowing darkness, legs tails and teeth tumble and cavort, it is the midnight of mother nature’s mistakes.

The bustle and jostle of brainboxes creating a conflict of frequencies: is there a god, am I falling out of love, did I pay the cable bill this month, why is that person looking at me, can they read my thoughts? I am middle-aged roadkill on the highway of the mind, eviscerated, my mediocrity exposed, a sacrificial stench to the uncaring wheels of modernity.

We dance entwined, intermingled, interspersed, our molecules mixed and recomposed, now a mass of skin hair eyes bones protruding, a shoggoth of shared sentiments, love is an unnatural loss of self. You are a gem with a thousand faces, reflecting, refracting, genuflecting, diffracting, exacting, assuming, retuning, demanding, asking, tsking, basking, pushing, blooming, yes, ever-blooming more faces.

And then something about a lonely typographer and Nefertiti’s boobies.

Original LP version

A1. Toy Room (Dave Holland) (5:25)
A2. Ballad I (Chick Corea/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul) (4:17)
A3. Rhymes (Chick Corea) (7:56)
B1. Flesh (Chick Corea) (5:05)
B2. Ballad III (Chick Corea/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul) (5:35)
B3. Nefertitti (Wayne Shorter) (7:05)

CD reissue bonus tracks (Japan)
7. Blues Connotation (7:19)
8. Drone (22:28)

The Players

Chick Corea (piano), Barry Altschul (drums), Dave Holland (bass fiddle). Produced by Sonny Lester.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in 1970 in the US (Blue Note, BST-85343, black label with blue sidebar on left).

  1. Re-issued on elpee in the 1970s in the US (Blue Note, BST-85343, blue label with white “b”).
  2. Re-issued on elpee in the 1970s in the US (Blue Note, BST-85343, blue label with blue “b”).
  3. Re-issued on elpee in the US (Blue Note, BST-85434, white/blue label).
  4. Re-issued on elpee in Japan (Solid State, GXC-3167).
  5. Re-issued on elpee in 1977 in Japan (Solid State, LAX-3153).
  6. Re-issued on elpee in 1983 in Japan (Blue Note, BNJ-71062).
  7. Re-released on expanded compact disc on November 24, 1988 in Japan (Blue Note, CP32 9549) with 2 bonus tracks.
  8. Re-issued on compact disc on February 25, 1998 in Japan (Blue Note, TOCJ-4353).
  9. Re-issued on compact disc in 2009 in Japan (Blue Note, TOCJ-8559).

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