Brad Barker is JAZZ.FM91’s music director and hosts Afternoon Drive and First Listen.

At age 77, Chick Corea can do just about anything he wants.

The NEA Jazz Master and winner of close to two dozen Grammy Awards has firmly established his place in the history of jazz.

Starting some 60 years ago, as a pianist with Mongo Santamaria, Corea has been a trailblazer when it comes to bringing jazz together with other sounds from around the world.

Spain has always played a role in Corea’s music; his enduring tune Spain and his 1976 album My Spanish Heart are two prominent examples. On his new recording called Antidote, he’s assembled a new octet he calls his Spanish Heart Band.

“Music and art are a kind of antidote to the dark side of our current time,” Corea says.

Behind the drum kit is Marcus Gilmore, who’s the grandson
of drumming legend and collaborator Roy Haynes. Corea’s wife, Gayle Moran Corea, handles vocal duties on a few songs. The compositions include previously recorded tunes from his albums My Spanish Heart and Touchstone, and others by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Paco de Lucía and Igor Stravinsky.

The music is a celebration — and it really does sound like Corea and the group are having a heck of time. Duende, a tune from
1982’s Touchstone, gets a new and beautiful treatment, and Armando’s Rhumba is a wonderful tribute to his dad.

Hear more new releases and reissues every week on First Listen.