Premiere: Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade Interpret Monk’s ‘Crepuscule With Nellie’

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Pianist Chick Corea, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade follow their 2014 recording with Triology 2, a two-disc live set due out Oct. 4.

(Photo: Courtesy Concord Jazz)

In a piece on Trilogy 2, DownBeat writer James Hale says the “artistic breadth and technical facility” of bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade matches that of foundational pianist Chick Corea.

Hard to argue with, but the band’s also just a triumvirate of performers who seemingly feel playful in each other’s company. Corea’s introduction to the band’s take of “Crepuscule With Nellie,” a tune that premieres below, indicates as much. Thelonious Monk’s staggering swing finds itself grafted onto the 21st-century trio’s recording of a spate of classics during a 2016 tour, and as Corea and McBride work Monk’s changes, they leave more than enough room for Blade to filigree the empty spaces with fluttering ripostes on hi-hat, some quick tom fills, the whoosh of a cymbal or a quick batch of quarter-note rimshots.

“A lot of the core repertoire of this trio is the music of Thelonious Monk,” McBride said in an email. “‘Crepuscule With Nellie,’ although a well-known tune among musicians and Monk fans, is not a song that’s played a lot. It was a pleasure to play and record this gem with Chick and Brian.”

Every jazz fan’s likely heard the songs that make up Trilogy 2—maybe performed by these players. But there’s a conviviality and lushness to each tune here. And even if this wasn’t Corea playfully cementing his legacy in the company of generation-defining musicians, it’d be worth more than a listen. Or two. A trilogy of listens, even.

For more information about Trilogy 2, visit the Concord Jazz website. DB



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