Last Call Review: The Chick Corea + Steve Gadd Band/Chinese Butterfly/Stretch Records

Feb 3, 2018

Chick Corea and Steve Gadd join forces in the studio to present a long-awaited musical meeting, joined by some of today's top players, including the brilliant guitarist Lionel Loueke.

Chick Corea is a keyboardist known for his work as co-founder of Jazz supergroup Return To Forever, in addition to  working with the Miles Davis ensemble during the sessions that produced the legendary recordings In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew.

As for Steve Gadd, he's arguably the man to call when drums are required--as his credits indicate: He was the drummer for Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", Steely Dan's "Aja", Al Jarreau's "Spain", and Chick Corea's "Nite Sprite". Chick Corea has described Gadd as "The Master of Creative Grooves." Steve Gadd has toured with artists such as Eric Clapton to James Taylor and is known for his essential contribution to Grover Washington, Jr's/ Bill Wither's megahit "Just The Two Of Us".

A guitarist known internationally for his impeccable fusion of West African and jazz music, Lionel Loueke infuses the music of his native culture of Benin with technical mastery of the guitar, coaxing sounds from the strings and body of the instrument that have thrilled audiences around the world, including Omaha, Nebraska.

Chinese Butterfly sees Corea and Gadd leading their first fully participatory date with Loueke and the spirited collaboration of Steve Wilson on sax and flute, Carlitos Del Puerto on bass, and Luisito Quintero on percussion.

Together in the studio after a brief tour the band recorded two CDs worth of material. The first disc warms up the audience with "Chick's Chums"( A John McLaughlin tune) and four other selections including "A Spanish Song" and the title track which are effectively performed.

The second CD presents the band in a free-spirited set of three extended songs that all run over fifteen minutes, allowing the band to set up a series of solid grooves.  The fun starts on a spirited reprise of Chick Corea's gem "Return To Forever" which features special guest vocalist Philip Bailey, famously of the band Earth, Wind and Fire. Two other bold performances of Chick Corea songs follow, "Wake Up Call(Co-written with Lionel Loueke)" and "Gadd-Zooks".

The long anticipated musical summit is worth listening to, especially for the second half.

Listen to an interview with Chick Corea