Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea or better known as Chick Corea was one of the most legendary jazz pianist of all time. Being an influential figure in contemporary jazz, his work inspired and touched millions of lives. Chick was a virtuosic keyboardist who had a unique flair in his music. He was one of the only jazz pianists to receive 23 Grammy Awards. Throughout his magnificent music career, which spanned over five decades. He worked alongside several legendary jazz artists. They include Miles Davis’, John Mayer, and many more talents. Chick recently passed away due to a rare form of cancer. But, his music and contributions to jazz will continue to live on forever.
Early Life and Beginnings
Chick Corea was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on June 12th, 1941. He was of southern Italian descent as his father was an immigrant from Albi Comune. Jazz played a huge part in his life. As his father was a jazz trumpeter who led a band in Boston in the early 1930s and 40s. Chick was introduced to the piano at the age of four. Since then, he was immersed in the world of jazz music. Being in an atmosphere where jazz was the predominant style of music, he fell in love with jazz.
However, Chick took influence, especially from Bebop and artists. Such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Lester Young, and Horace Silver. Chick started playing gigs when he was in high school. Later, he moved to New York City to pursue his education in music. However, he quit and dropped out but remained in New York to pursue his dreams.
Professional Music Career of Chick Corea
In the mid-1960s, Chick Corea started his professional music career. He started playing with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz. This is when he recorded his debut album called “Tones for Joan’s Bones”. Soon after, he released another trio album titled “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”. Later in the 1970s, Chick had developed a unique and mesmerizing style of playing the keyboard. His music was an inspiration for upcoming jazz artists in the seventies. During this period, Chick appeared in several albums with Miles Davis. Some of those albums include “Black Beauty: Live at the Filmore West” and “Miles Davis at Fillmore East”. Soon after, Chick also started working with Gary Burton and recorded several albums for ECM.
In his over five-decade music career. Chick’s creations were featured several times on the Billboard-200 albums chart. Some of his classic hits include “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”, “My Spanish Heart” and many more. Throughout his career, Chick gave the jazz music scene some of the best jazz ever heard. His contributions to jazz live on to this day and he remains in the hearts of millions of people. Before his death, Chick had shared a small message for his fans. “My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could. And to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly. This has been the richness of my life”. Chick Corea and his wonderful contributions to jazz shall always remain in our hearts. His music will continue to live on forever!