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Chick Corea and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

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Artists scheduled to appear on 8/15/2017 at Denver Botanic Gardens:
  • Chick Corea
  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Upcoming Events for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Groundbreaking banjoist/composer/bandleader Béla Fleck has reconvened the original 'Béla Fleck & The Flecktones', the extraordinary initial line-up of his incredible combo. Rocket Science marks the first recording by the first fab four Flecktones in almost two decades, with pianist/harmonica player Howard Levy back in the fold alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten, and percussionist/ Drumitarist Roy "Futureman" Wooten. Far from being a wistful trip back in time, the album sees the Grammy Award-winning quartet creating some of the most forward thinking music of their long, storied career. While all manners of genres come into play – from classical and jazz to bluegrass and African music to electric blues and Eastern European folk dances – the result is an impossible to pigeonhole sound all their own, a meeting of musical minds that remains, as ever, utterly indescribable. Simply put, it is The Flecktones, the music made only when these four individuals come together.

"All the different things I do come together to make a new 'hybrid' Béla'," Fleck says. "Everybody else in the group is doing the same things, collaborating with different people, and pursuing a wide variety of ideas, so when we come together and put all of our separate soups into one big stockpot it turns into a very diverse concoction."

Fleck first united the Flecktones in 1988, ostensibly for a single performance on PBS' Lonesome Pine Special. From the start, there was a special kinship between the four musicians, a bond forged in a mutual passion for creativity and artistic advancement. Three breakthrough albums and a whole lot of live dates followed before Levy decided to move on in late 1992.

"I wanted to do other things and there was no time to do anything else," he explains. "We were probably playing 150 shows a year at that time – maybe more - and it was just too much for me. I've never, before or since, done any one thing that much!"

Béla Fleck & the Flecktones persevered, playing as a trio and with many special guests, before saxophonist Jeff Coffin joined the ensemble. A succession of acclaimed albums and innumerable live performances continued to earn the band a fervent fan following around the world, not to mention five Grammy Awards in a range of categories.

Still, by 2008, the band had grown somewhat restive and embarked on a temporary hiatus. The seeds of change began with what Futureman calls the "paintbrushes of fate" as Coffin was invited to join Dave Matthews Band after the 2008 death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore. Fleck encouraged him to accept, believing the decision would rejuvenate both DMB and the Flecktones themselves.

"We were ready for something different to happen," he says. "We'd been in a kind of holding pattern. We had the same line-up for so many years that it was becoming 'normal', we were all drifting into outside things for new musical invigoration, and we were taking more and more time off between albums and tours."

Each member had been quite busy with a variety of successful projects – including: Bela's duet collaborations with Chick Corea, a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer (sometimes with the Detroit Symphony) and his expansive adventures in African music, documented in the acclaimed 2009 film and CD, Throw Down Your Heart. Victor's solo band tours, camps, recording sessions, clinics and CD releases (including an incredible collaborative project with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller called SMV, which yielded the album 'Thunder'), and Future Man's creation of his amazing Black Mozart project, and continued developement of new instruments.

Still, all agree that Flecktones music was beckoning them home. The band, which had always maintained a warm relationship with the gifted pianist/harmonica player, recruited Levy for a 2009 tour of the US and Europe, an experience he describes as "extremely invigorating and very energizing."

"It felt just like it did back when we first started playing together," says Wooten. "Just with a lot less hair."

Upon the tour's conclusion, the four musicians agreed to further explore the band's possibilities, sensing what Futureman calls, "an opportunity to revisit the original scene of the crime."

"There were a lot of unfinished aspects to this line-up of the band," Fleck notes, "in that it stopped right when we were peaking creatively." For Fleck, Levy's return enables the Flecktones to follow through on the original concept of a band "where each person was reinventing their instruments, where every one of us was a kind of mutant."

"There's a special thing that happens when the four of us get together and play," notes Levy. "We all have the same attitude of trying to do things that we haven't done before and coincidentally, no one else has either."

One thing was certain, however. The 'original' Flecktones were resolute that their reunion would not be rooted in nostalgia. The goal from the get-go was to drive the music forward to places where it might've progressed had things gone differently.

"I didn't want to just get together to play the old music," Fleck says. "That's not what the Flecktones are about. Everybody's full of life and ideas and creativity. I was intrigued by what we could do that we had never done before."

"Everybody's still advancing on their instruments," adds Futureman. "Everyone has grown over these 18 years, so it was an opportunity to realize some of what we were trying to do in the beginning."

In early 2010, Fleck and Levy first began working on new material, teaming up for collaborative writing sessions at Levy's home in Evanston, Illinois. Fleck was determined to establish a more inclusive environment as far as composition, to give Levy a greater stake in the writing process.

"We hashed out a whole bunch of ideas together," Levy says. "He would play things that he was working on, and I would go back into my memory banks and say, 'I have this incomplete fragment that might work well with the band,' or we would just improvise things together. It was inspiring, I think, for both of us."

Their compositional collaboration resulted in a remarkable suite comprised of "Joyful Spring" and "Life In Eleven." The former was originally conceived of by Levy while in his early 20s, while the idea for "Life In Eleven" had its genesis in the Flecktones' first incarnation. The band had long wanted to explore one of Levy's passions, the Bulgarian dance rhythm called Gankino or Krivo. "Almost 12," a piece Victor and Bela wrote after Howard left the band had earned the Flecktones a "Best Instrumental Composition" Grammy in 1998. Still, the goal of writing a Flecktone piece - with Howard - using the unusual 11/16 or 11/8 time signature was, to Fleck's mind, "unfinished business."

"When we got together, the 11 idea came back up and Howard came out with something very Bulgarian," he says. "I said, 'It's really great but it's really fast and jumpy and complex. What if, halfway through, we dropped into a gospel 11/4 feel that was so natural, that you didn't even notice it was in 11?' It was an idea I'd had in my mind for some time, a way of playing something in 11 that didn't confuse new 11 listeners, due to it's complexity"

Songwriting was, of course, not limited to Fleck and Levy. Futureman's solo composition "The Secret Drawer" serves as preamble to Levy's evocative "Sweet Pomegranates," and Wooten brought "Like Water", which Bela helped to complete, which stands as a majestic representation of his flowing, pianistic approach to the bass. For his part, Fleck composed a number of new pieces while also delving into his back pages for "Earthling Parade" and "Storm Warning," a track that had been a highlight of his live sets when touring with Stanley Clarke and Jean-Luc Ponty. Though he had not previously considered either composition for the Flecktones, the new line-up inspired him to give them a second look.

"Those pieces now seemed more intrigueing - with the original line-up," Fleck says. "Not that they hadn't been cool in other settings, but with Howard in the picture we could go quite deep into the complicated zone while still keeping them earthy and warm."

In September, the Flecktones met at Fleck's home studio in Nashville for the first of two rounds of sessions. Where the band had customarily road-tested new material, working out the kinks in live performance, this time they did not have that luxury.

"We were writing some of the more complex pieces as we were laying them down," Levy says. "But all of us have done so much recording outside of the group, where we're used to seeing compositions take shape in the studio, that we were all comfortable with the process."

"We had to be very aware," Fleck says, "because we were making final decisions almost from the start. But I think it yielded an improvised quality, an intensity, to the record. It was like, 'Let's make some good decisions and then commit to them.'"

In many ways, the album's sound centers on the return of Levy's piano and chromatically played diatonic harmonica, taking full advantage of the new melodic designs each brought to the Flecktones' sonic palette. Known as "The Man With Two Brains" for his uncanny ability to play both instruments simultaneously, Levy has built a remarkably diverse resume over the past twenty years, including solo and session work, membership in Trio Globo and Chévere de Chicago, collaborations with classical violinist Fox Fehling, and founding Balkan Samba Records and the online Howard Levy Harmonica School. The equally restless Fleck hails Levy as "an incendiary player" who by his very nature forces the band out of their comfort zone.

"When we play together, Victor, Futureman, and I all have to step up our game," Fleck says, "because Howard is going to throw something unexpected at us, which in certain ways, puts us in an uncomfortable zone, but due to that, we have to push through - into our higher selves."

While prior Flecktones collections have often featured inventive and innovative instrumentation, this time out the band opted to stick to the basics. Fleck plays an assortment of banjos, mostly vintage, though an electric Deering Crossfire can be heard on "Prickly Pear" and a prototype 10-string banjo is featured on "Joyful Spring." For his part, Wooten largely bypassed his famed assortment of bass effects, noting that the player is what truly matters.

"In my mind, the instrument is there to allow the musician to feel something and to express themselves," Wooten says. "The music doesn't come from the instrument, it comes from the musician. Whatever instrument allows you to express yourself the way you want to at that moment is the one you should play."

That said, Futureman took the occasion to unveil a new prototype Drumitar, his MIDI-based device that allows him to trigger samples using his fingers. A central element of the Flecktones sound, the first version of the notorious instrument was on its last legs after more than two decades. More significantly, new advances in technology allowed for the creation of a Drumitar more in line with the drummer's vision, featuring better dynamics and the ability to record his own spectrum of drum samples.

"Twenty years later, the fruit is really ripe," Futureman says. "There are things that I was trying to do back then but the sounds just weren't good enough. Now it's actually swinging the way I always wanted it to swing."

For many Flecktones fans, the return of the original line-up allows a chance to see a band that many had never gotten to witness before. Indeed, a certain segment of the band's base discovered them during the Jeff Coffin era and may not even be familiar with Levy's membership.

"There are people who don't remember the very beginning of the Flecktones," Futureman says. "It's like people that started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and never got to meet Captain Kirk. So here we go, the original crew of the Enterprise coming together on a new mission."

Visionary and vibrant as anything in their already rich canon, Rocket Science feels more like a new beginning than simply the culmination of an early chapter. Where the band goes from here remains undetermined, but all four members agree that the promise of Béla Fleck & the Original Flecktones has yet to be fulfilled.

"We're going to have to have this experience together and see how everybody likes it," Fleck says. "I know that we haven't even come close to exhausting the possibilities with this record, but we sure went deeper than we ever had before."

Upcoming Events for Chick Corea

Born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Massachusetts on June 12, 1941, he began studying piano at age four. Early on in his development, Horace Silver and Bud Powell were important influences while the music of Beethoven and Mozart inspired his compositional instincts. Chick's first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway, which came before early stints in Latin bands led by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo.

Important sideman work with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, flutist Herbie Mann and saxophonist Stan Getz came before Chick made his recording debut as a leader in 1966 with Tones For Joan's Bones. During these formative years, Chick also recorded sessions with Cal Tjader, Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie.

After accompanying singer Sarah Vaughan in 1967, Chick went into the studio in March of 1968 and recorded Now He Sings, Now He Sobs with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes.

That trio album is now considered a jazz classic. This is the disc that cemented Corea's place in the jazz firmament as a pianist of incomparable skill.

In the fall of 1968, Chick replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis' band with Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. In September of that year, he played Fender Rhodes electric piano on Miles' important and transitional recording Filles de Kilimanjaro, which pointed to a fresh new direction in jazz. Between 1968 and 1970, Chick also appeared on such groundbreaking Davis recordings as In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Live-Evil and Live at the Fillmore East.

He was also a key player in Davis' electrified ensemble that appeared before 600,000 people on August 29, 1970 at the Isle of Wight Festival in England (captured on Murray Lerner's excellent documentary, Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue).

Shortly after the historic Isle of Wight concert, both Chick and bassist Dave Holland left Miles' group to form the cooperative avant-garde quartet Circle with drummer Barry Altschul and saxophonist Anthony Braxton. Though short-lived, Circle recorded three adventurous albums, culminating in the arresting live double LP Paris-Concert recorded on February 21, 1971 for the ECM label. Chick also recorded the trio album ARC with Holland and Altschul, before he changed directions again. His excellent Piano Improvisations, Vol. 1 and 2, recorded over two days in April 1971 for ECM, was the first indication that solo piano performance would become fashionable.

Toward the end of 1971, Chick formed his first edition of Return to Forever with Stanley Clarke on acoustic bass, Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, Airto Moreira on drums and percussion and Moreira's wife Flora Purim on vocals. On February 2 and 3, 1972, they recorded their self-titled debut for ECM, which included the popular Corea composition "La Fiesta."

A month later, on March 3, 1972, Chick, Stanley, Airto and drummer Tony Williams teamed together as the rhythm section for Stan Getz's Columbia recording Captain Marvel, which featured five Corea compositions, including "500 Miles High," "La Fiesta" and the title track. By September of that year, Chick was back in the studio with Return to Forever to record the classic Light as a Feather, a collection of melodic Brazilian-flavored jazz tunes including new versions of "500 Miles High" and "Captain Marvel" along with Chick's best-known composition, "Spain." In November of 1972, Chick also recorded the sublime Crystal Silence, his initial duet encounter with vibraphonist and kindred spirit Gary Burton.

By early 1973, Return to Forever added electric guitarist Bill Connors and thunderous drummer Lenny White, and the group was fully fortified to embrace the emerging fusion movement. In August 1973 Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy instantly elevated them to the status of other fiery fusion bands of the day like John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Joe Zawinul-Wayne Shorter-led juggernaut, Weather Report.

By the summer of 1974, with the 19-year-old speed demon guitarist Al Di Meola replacing Connors in the RTF lineup, the transformation to a bona fide high-energy jazz-rock concert attraction was complete. Hordes of rock fans embraced the group and were able to enter the world of jazz through such important albums as 1974's Where Have I Known You Before, 1975's Grammy® Award-winning No Mysteryand 1976's Romantic Warrior, which became the best-selling of the RTF studio albums.

During this same period, Chick also turned out two highly personal recordings in 1975's jazz fantasy concept album The Leprechaun and 1976's flamenco-flavored My Spanish Heart. A third edition of RTF featured a four-piece brass section along with bassist Clarke, charter RTF member Joe Farrell, drummer Gerry Brown and Chick's future wife Gayle Moran, who was also a memeber of Mahavishnu Orchestra, on vocals. Together they recorded 1977's Musicmagic and the four-LP boxed set RTF Live, which captured the sheer energy and excitement of the full ensemble on tour.

Shortly after disbanding RTF, Chick and Herbie Hancock teamed up in early 1978 for a tour playing duets exclusively on acoustic pianos. Their chemistry was documented on two separate recordings: 1978's Corea/Hancock and 1980's An Evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, a two-LP set that featured renditions of Chick's "La Fiesta" and Herbie's "Maiden Voyage" along with expressive takes on Béla Bartok's "Mikrokosmos" and the Disney staple, "Someday My Prince Will Come."

Also in 1978, a year marked by a flurry of activity, Chick released The Mad Hatter, with original RTF saxophonist Joe Farrell, drummer Steve Gadd and former Bill Evans Trio bassist Eddie Gomez, and followed up with the wide-open blowing date Friends, featuring the same stellar crew. Before the year was out Chick also managed to record the provocative Delphi I: Solo Piano Improvisations.

Secret Agent introduced a fresh new rhythm section of drummer Tom Brechtlein (later a member of the Touchstone band) and France's fretless electric bass wonder, Bunny Brunel. Vocalist Gayle Moran and saxophonist Joe Farrell were also featured on this 1979 outing. New Decade, New Collaborators Acoustic Jazz in an Electric Era Click to open image!

At the beginning of 1981, Chick recorded Three Quartets, a classic swinging encounter with tenor sax great Michael Brecker, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Steve Gadd.

Later that year he toured in an all-star quartet with saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Roy Haynes. Their near-telepathic post-bop chemistry was documented on the exhilarating Live in Montreux.

That same year, Chick also had a reunion with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Roy Haynes for the double LP Trio Music, released 13 years after their landmark recording, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. The year 1982 yielded such gems as the Spanish-tinged Touchstone (featuring flamenco guitar great Paco de Lucia and a reunion of Chick's RTF band mates Al Di Meola, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke on the aptly-titled "Compadres"), the adventurous Again and Again (a quintet date featuring the remarkable flutist Steve Kujala), Chick's ambitious Lyric Suite for Sextet (a collaboration with vibraphonist Gary Burton augmented by string quartet) and The Meeting (a duet encounter with renowned classical pianist Friedrich Gulda).

1982 also marked the formation of the Echoes of an Era band (essentially an all-star backing band for R&B singer Chaka Khan's first foray into jazz). With his former RTF band mates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, augmented by jazz greats Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson, Chick recorded Echoes of an Era with Chaka and followed up with the all-instrumental studio recording Griffith Park Collection and the live double-LP, Griffith Park Collection, Vol. 2.

There followed a string of eclectic offerings in 1983's solo piano masterwork Children's Songs, 1984's Voyage (a duet project with flutist Kujala), 1985's Septet (an ambitious five movement suite for piano, flute, French horn and string quartet) and 1985's Trio Music, Live In Europe (another ECM outing with Vitous and Haynes).

Through the remainder of the '80s and into the '90s, Corea returned to the fusion arena with a vengeance with his Elektric Band, featuring drummer Dave Weckl, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Frank Gambale. Together they recorded five hard-hitting offerings that elevated fusion to a whole new level, including 1986's Elektric Band, 1987's Light Years, 1988's excellent Eye of the Beholder, 1990's Inside Out and 1991's Beneath the Mask.

To balance his forays into electric music, Chick also formed his Akoustic Band, a highly interactive trio with Elektric Band members Patitucci on upright bass and Weckl on drums. They recorded 1989's Akoustic Band and 1990's Alive, both on GRP. The second edition of Chick's Elektric Band, featuring bassist Jimmy Earl, guitarist Mike Miller, drummer Gary Novak and original EB member Eric Marienthal on saxophone, released 1993's Paint the World on GRP. That same year, Chick also recorded a set of solo piano jazz standards, Expressions, which he dedicated to jazz piano legend Art Tatum.

By 1992, Chick realized a lifelong goal in forming Stretch Records, a label committed to stretching boundaries and focusing more on freshness and creativity than on genre. Among its early releases were projects by Bob Berg, John Patitucci, Eddie Gomez and Robben Ford. After Chick's ten-year relationship with GRP ended in 1996, following the release of Time Warp, Stretch Records became a partnership with Concord Records and Chick began releasing his new music on his own label.

Chick's first release for his new label was 1997's Remembering Bud Powell, an all-star outing that featured young talent like tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman, trumpeter Wallace Roney, alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and bassist Christian McBride, along with jazz drumming legend Roy Haynes (who had performed on the bandstand beside Powell in the early '50s).

Also in 1997, Chick released a recording with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Bobby McFerrin as conductor. Their second collaboration, entitled The Mozart Sessions, followed on the heels of their first duet, 1991's Play. That same incredibly productive year, Chick unveiled his acoustic sextet Origin (the band's self-titled debut release was a live recording at the Blue Note club in New York) and also teamed up with old partner Gary Burton, rekindling their chemistry from the '70s on Native Sense: The New Duets, which earned Chick his ninth Grammy® Award.

In 1998, Chick released the six-disc set A Week at the Blue Note, documenting the high-flying Origin sextet in full stride in all its spontaneously combustible glory over the course of three nights. He followed that up in 1999 with Origin's third outing, Change, which was recorded within the relaxed confines of the home Chick shares with his wife and singer Gayle Moran in Florida. Also in 1999, Chick recorded two solo piano gems, Solo Piano: Originals and Solo Piano: Standards.

In 2001, Chick unveiled his New Trio, featuring drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Avishai Cohen, on Past, Present & Futures. By the end of that year, Chick was engaged with his ambitious three-week career retrospective at the Blue Note, which yielded the two-CD set Rendezvous in New York and the 10-DVD set documenting nearly eight hours of performances with Origin, the Akoustic Band, New Trio, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs Trio, Remembering Bud Powell Band and Three Quartets Band, as well as duets with Bobby McFerrin, Gary Burton and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

In 2004, Chick reunited his high-powered Elektric Band for a tour and subsequent recording based on L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction novel To the Stars. And in 2005, he returned to Hubbard for musical inspiration, this time interpreting The Ultimate Adventure. Chick's acoustic/electric tone poem earned two Grammys—remarkably his 13th and 14th. Chick's latest score was inspired by Hubbard's fantasy novel set against a backdrop of scenes and characters from the ancient tales, The Arabian Nights.

In 2006, there was no time for Chick to rest on his well- deserved laurels. In July in Vienna, he premiered his "Piano Concerto #2," commissioned by Wiener Mozartjahr 2006, in celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday anniversary. He performed the piece with the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra and toured throughout Europe with the group. (Read Chick's blog entry on the Mozart commission)

In December 2006, Chick recorded The Enchantment, a remarkable duo outing with genre-defying banjoist extraordinaire Béla Fleck.

The two had admired each other's music for several years. Chick had previously recorded three songs on Béla's 1994 CD, Tales From the Acoustic Planet, as well as on the group's 1996 live CD, Live Art. Chick, in turn, had enlisted Fleck to perform with him and Bobby McFerrin on the 2002 Rendezvous in New York project.

Fleck said that The Enchantment was "one of my greatest experiences as a musician … playing with my hero, Chick Corea." Chick returned the compliment by saying that the album broke new ground for him, with Fleck inspiring him to delve into "unfamiliar territory." He said, "I love those kinds of challenges, and we had a blast on The Enchantment, which has a totally new kind of sound."

2008 saw the release of the Five Trios box set, a six-CD set of five different trios Chick recorded with, dating back to 2005. Also, there were new studio recordings. The box set was released in Japan only by Universal.

The trio discs featured Chick leading the following bass/drum bands: John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez (for the disc named "Dr. Joe") ; Eddie Gomez and Airto Moreira (for "The Boston Three Party," a tribute to Bill Evans recorded at Boston's Berklee Performance Center on April 28, 2006) ; Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette (for "From Miles," a tribute to Miles Davis, recorded live in New York, 2006) ; and Christian McBride and Jeff Ballard ("Chillin' in Chelan," a tribute to Thelonious Monk recorded live in Chelan, Washington in 2005). The new studio recordings featured French bassist Hadrien Feraud and drummer Richie Barshay.

The biggest Chick news of 2008 was the reuniting of the classic Return to Forever lineup of guitarist Al Di Meola, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. It marked the first time they played together as a group in 25 years. Before embarking on its eagerly anticipated world tour, Concord Records released the two-CD set, Return to Forever: The Anthology, which gathered together for the first time the best of RTF's classic albums, completely remixed and remastered.

Return to Forever graced the cover of DownBeat magazine and garnered the feature story, "Let Them Hear Fusion." In the article, on the eve of the premiere reunion concert in Austin, Texas, on May 29, Chick said, "I can't wait to see what happens. So many people—and that includes the members of the band—have waited so long for this. Playing the music again with the guys in rehearsals has been so much fun, but doing this for our fans is almost too good to be true."

The RTF tour circled the globe before concluding in August. The resulting double live album, Return to Forever: Returns, captured every bit of the band's powerful, unique brand of virtuosity. The Five Peace Band Electro-Acoustic Alchemy with Fellow Miles Davis Alum John McLaughlin

Another monumental 2008 event was the Five Peace Band group, founded with the great jazz guitarist John McLaughlin. The two are truly kindred spirits, given their individual musical histories as well as their singular virtuosity on their respective instruments. As young jazz artists, they both did stints with the legendary Miles Davis and appeared together on the groundbreaking jazz/rock/funk classic Bitches Brew. They then ventured out to form their own revolutionary bands: Chick's RTF and John's Mahavishnu Orchestra. Collaborating together for the first time, Chick and John took a new musical leap, presenting highly creative music with Kenny Garrett on saxophone, Christian McBride on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta and Brian Blade on drums.

Inspired by working with Stanley Clarke (bass) and Lenny White (drums) on the RTF tour, Chick enlisted them to form a trio for a worldwide tour. Actually, the trio is another reunion, harking back to a weeklong stint in 1973 at the heralded San Francisco jazz venue Keystone Korner, where the three developed the electric-jazz ideas that led to the development of RTF.

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