Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Brian Blade


Biography Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Brian Blade



Chick Corea
Since embarking on a solo career in 1966, Chick has been at the forefront of jazz, both as a renowned pianist forging new ground with his acoustic jazz bands and as an innovative electric keyboardist with Return to Forever, the Elektric Band, and now the electro/acoustic Vigil.

His extensive discography boasts numerous albums, beginning with his 1968 classic, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.

A DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, 22-time Grammy winner, and keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering.

Chick is the fourth-most-nominated artist in the history of the Grammys, with 63 nominations. He's also earned 3 Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category.

From straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children's songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is awe-inspiring. A tirelessly creative spirit, Chick continues to forge ahead, continually reinventing himself in the process.

Christian McBride
Six-time GRAMMY®-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, McBride’s path has described a continuous positive arc since his arrival on the scene. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.

Raised in a city steeped in soul, McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at the Juilliard School. There he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. Call it a change in curriculum: a decade’s worth of study through hundreds of recording sessions and countless gigs with an ever-expanding circle of musicians. He was finding his voice, and others were learning to listen for it.

In 2000 the lessons of the road came together in the formation of what would become his longest-running project, the Christian McBride Band. Praised by writer Alan Leeds as "one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene today," the CMB—saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully—have been collectively evolving McBride's all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music through their incendiary live shows, as chronicled on 2006’s Live at Tonic. Part excursion, part education, the CMB is a vehicle built on a framework of experience and powered by unfettered creativity: a mesmerizing dance on the edge of an electro-acoustic fault line. ...

Brian Blade
has set those words to music for his first recording as a singer, guitarist and songwriter: Mama Rosa is a revealing journey through thirteen songs about family, loved ones, travels and a sense that these things that shape and inspire us have to be shared with others to complete a circle. He has been writing and recording material with words for as long as he's been making music. In fact, Mama Rosa grew naturally from the four-track home demos that he's recorded over the years and several of the original performances from those tapes can be heard on this album. Initially, Blade felt that these songs would never be heard by anyone else, but after encouragement from longtime friend Daniel Lanois, these home recordings became the cornerstones for the album. There is an initial spark close to the moment of inspiration and that intimate vibe is felt throughout Mama Rosa.

"For some time now, these songs have existed in the solitude of my room, and I got a lot of joy and satisfaction from just knowing that they existed," Blade says. "But at a certain point I questioned whether it was fear or selfishness that kept me quiet. Facing the music and the mirror, I began to ask if this was the end of the process? What does God expect of me? Maybe someone else might find some inspiration in the songs."

The lyrical themes of home, memories and loved ones, and how they shape who we are, are reflected in Blade naming the album after his grandmother. Rosa is the subject of the album's vivid opening track "After The Revival." Sung from the perspective of his mother Dorothy Blade, expecting the birth of her first son, Brian's older brother, Brady, Jr. "After the Revival" also alludes to Blade's early years at the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, where his father is pastor, and where Brian first started singing and playing the drums.

The multi-talented young veteran is already widely respected in the jazz world as drummer/composer/leader of Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, with whom he has released three albums. He is also known as the drummer for many heroes of the music world, including Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter, Seal, Bill Frisell and Emmylou Harris. Blade is always searching for the balance that gives a song a personal story with an outward reaching resonance. One such song of memories is entitled, "Second Home," a tribute to his teacher, John Vidacovich, and the city of New Orleans where Brian met Fellowship band mates Jon Cowherd and Chris Thomas. He lived in the crescent city for seven years while studying with musical masters Ellis Marsalis, David Lee, Jr. Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, George French, Germaine Bazzle, Steve Masakowski and John Mahoney. Mama Rosa marks a new endeavor for Blade: a lovingly crafted, emotionally affecting song cycle that's deeply rooted in a rich vein of personal experience. "All That Was Yesterday", "You'll Always Be My Baby" and "Nature's Law" show Blade to be a soulful and expressive vocalist and a songwriter capable of rendering evocative stories that resonate with insight and empathy. "Revealing more of ourselves is always daunting," says Blade, "but I feel like I need to keep challenging myself and peeling away layers to get to the core of who I am and what I have to offer."

Mama Rosa's organic musical palette showcases Blade's diverse talents on acoustic guitar and drums, and one of the people who has inspired Blade for many years now, longtime friend and music maker champion, Daniel Lanois. Lanois is the featured soloist on Mama Rosa, offering perfectly formed and spiritually elevating Firebird guitar improvisations on the songs "At The Centerline," "Mercy Angel," "All That Was Yesterday" and "Her Song." In addition, guitarist Goffrey Moore, steel guitar virtuoso Greg Leisz, bassist Jenny lee Lindberg (Warpaint ), singer/songwriters Aaron Embry (Amnion), John Bigham (The Soul of John Black), Rocco Deluca and Daryl Johnson, and the Fellowship Band members Jon Cowherd, Chris Thomas and Kurt Rosenwinkel all help to serve the songs brilliantly. A deep sense of brotherhood echoes throughout the entire recording. Kelly Jones, a truly gifted songstress, blends beautifully with Blade on "Mercy Angel" and "Get There." Hearing them together brings to mind the inspiration and long history of touching duos, including Fred and Annie Mae Macdowell, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack and Sullivan and Iola Pugh (The Consolers). In addition to Blade's original compositions, the album features a memorable adaptation of Brazilian music icon Milton Nascimento's "Faithful Brother," as well as the pair of atmospheric instrumentals, "All Gospel Radio" and "Psalm 100."

"I hope that people will find some personal joy in these songs from Mama Rosa. The real challenge is to be honest with myself and to let more of who we are be seen and heard as the songs reveal themselves."

Brian Blade was born on July 25, 1970 in Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother, Dorothy Blade is a retired kindergarten teacher and his father, Brady L. Blade, Sr. is the pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport. During his childhood, Brian would hear Gospel music in his everyday life, as well as the music of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, and the Staple Singers. In elementary school, his music appreciation teacher, Lucy Bond, introduced her students to the music of Maurice Ravel and in this class, Brian would play the recorder and various melodic percussion instruments associated with the Carl Orff pedagogy. ...

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