The Chick Corea Elektric Band (1986)

Kronomyth 43.0: ELECTRIOCITY. A new chapter for Chick, who takes two supremely talented youngsters under his wing and leads them flying through some spirited fusion music. This, their debut album (and first for label GRP), could be seen as a return to RTF’s old stomping grounds except that here Corea is the master, Patitucci and Weckl the students. The record follows a loose concept concerning life in Elektric City (an analogy for our own world), like most cities harboring both temptation and salvation. The playing is superlative as you’d expect; Corea remains expressive and entertaining even behind an array of electronic machines, while Patitucci and the unconventional Weckl show flashes of real fire. The trio also receives some help from guest guitarists Carlos Rios and Scott Henderson. If you’re wondering why the album rates an average orange (oh, he’s color coding them now), it’s because so few fusion albums really get under my skin. I’ve listened to this record at least two dozen times, and by now I look for the same payoffs: the lively “Got A Match?” with its shades of Birdland, and the two exotic bookends on side two, “No Zone” and “India Town.” The rest of the record is good, but it doesn’t affect me the way a Romantic Warrior does. To its credit, The Chick Corea Elektric Band benefits from a consistent musical vision. Corea albums from the late ‘70s could often hop around restlessly between classical, traditional and fusion jazz, but this is pure electric/electronic fusion from beginning to end. If you enjoy fusion for itself (or think everything by Weather Report is brilliant) than you should check out at least one Elektric outing (preferably one featuring Eric Marienthal). This is otherwise an auspicious start, suggesting that as Weckl and Patitucci develop they might themselves complete the cycle from students to masters.

Original LP Version
A1. Rumble (4:04)
A2. Side Walk (Chick Corea/John Patitucci/Dave Weckl) (3:48)
A3. Cool Weasel Boogie (6:43)
A4. Got A Match? (5:38)
B1. Elektric City (4:07)
B2. No Zone (5:29)
B3. King Cockroach (6:56)
B4. India Town (5:06)

Japanese CD reissue bonus tracks
9. City Gate
10. All Love
11. Silver Temple

Tracks 1-8 composed and arranged by Chick Corea unless noted.

The Players
Chick Corea (Yamaha KX88/TX816’S, Synclavier, Linn 9000, Fairlight, midi Rhodes/TX816’S, mini moog, Yamaha GS1, DX7/TX816’S, gong), John Patitucci (Pollman acoustic bass, Smith/Jackson 6 string bass, Fender Jazz bass), Dave Weckl (Yamaha & Simmons drums, percussion, Linn drum) with Scott Henderson (guitar on track 7), Carlos Rios (guitar). Engineered and mixed by Bernie Kirsh. Executive album producer: Ron Moss. Executive producers: Dave Grusin & Larry Rosen.

The Pictures
Art design by Dan Serrano, Andy Baltimore and David Gibb. Cover logo design by Michael Manoogian. Color photography by Glenn Wexler, B&W photography by David Moore.

The Plastic
Released on elpee, cassette and CD in 1986 in the US and Canada (GRP, GRPA/GRC-1026, GRPD-9535), Brazil (GRP, 290002), Germany (GRP, 91026) and Japan (GRP, VIJ-28069); reached #6 on the US Jazz charts. Re-released on CD in Japan (Universal, UCCU-5178). Re-released on expanded CD with three bonus tracks on November 24, 2003 in Japan (Universal).

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