Song of the Week Revisited – Armando’s Rhumba, Chick Corea

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

It was just announced that Chick Corea died of cancer last Tuesday at the age of 79. The following SotW post was written March 27, 2010.

The song of the week is “Armando’s Rhumba” by Chick Corea.  It is from his 1976 double album, My Spanish Heart

Corea is one of the most important keyboardists in modern jazz.  In the 60s he gained experience playing with a who’s who of the jazz world, including Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and on landmark albums by Miles Davis (In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew).

In the early 70s he formed his own group, Return to Forever, with Stanley Clarke.  The band later added Al DiMeola and moved more in the direction of the rock fusion that most people associate him with.

With My Spanish Heart, Corea chose to explore the sounds of his Latin heritage.  The album and “Armando’s Rhumba” in particular capitalize on the superb playing of Steve Gadd (drums), Stanley Clarke (bass) and especially Jean Luc Ponty whose violin gives the song its bounce and charm.  The flamenco hand claps add spice to the rhythm and help propel the song.  The result is a gypsy sound reminiscent of the classic Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli recordings.

Enjoy… until next week.

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