Chick Corea, iconic jazz pianist, dies at age 79
Born on June 12, 1941, in Chelsea, Mass., Corea began his professional career in the early 1960s with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann and Stan Getz. In 1966, he released his debut album, Tones for Joan’s Bones.
In the later part of that decade, Corea became an integral part of Miles Davis’s band after replacing Herbie Hancock. He recorded 15 albums with Davis between 1968 and 1974, including the landmark recordings In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew.
In 1971, Corea formed Return to Forever. Blending elements of jazz, rock, funk and Latin music, the group had a key role in the development of jazz fusion.
Corea worked on numerous other projects, including collaborations with Hancock, Dave Holland, Bobby McFerrin, Gary Burton, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Christian McBride, Steve Gadd and many more. His work expanded beyond the scope of jazz, as he was also well known for recording and performing classical and Latin music, equally comfortable as a soloist as he was as a bandleader.
Corea recorded a total of 81 studio albums and 17 live records and remained active until his final years. His last album was the solo piano album Plays, released in 2020.
Corea holds the record for the most Grammy Awards in the show’s jazz categories. He’s nominated twice at this year’s Grammys: best improvised jazz solo for All Blues and best jazz instrumental album for Trilogy 2.