Jazz legends stage a reunion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2008, 12:00am

Former Miles Davis band members Chick Corea and John McLaughlin to roll back the years

The annual Hong Kong Arts Festival showcases everything from traditional art forms to avant-garde performances from around the world, and next year's event, which runs from February 5 to March 8, is another global feast for the senses.

Complementing the many classical music programmes on offer is a selection of jazz and world music performances. A highlight for jazz enthusiasts will surely be the visit by Chick Corea and John McLaughlin on February 10 and 11 at 8pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

It will be the first time that Armando Anthony 'Chick' Corea, the multiple Grammy Award-winning American jazz pianist, keyboardist, drummer and composer, and McLaughlin, the English jazz fusion guitarist and composer, have joined forces since being members of Miles Davis's Bitches Brew-era band some 40 years ago.

Individually, the two musicians created two of the greatest jazz-rock fusion bands in history. McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and Corea's Return to Forever both rate among the most popular instrumental groups of all time. They have collaborated with a long list of some of the biggest names in jazz, rock, flamenco and other musical styles.

McLaughlin is considered a pioneer of world music, blending everything from high-volume electrified rock, gospel, funk, Indian and European classical music and an improvisational concept borrowed from jazz.

He has played with fellow guitar greats Paco de Lucia, Larry Coryell and Al di Meola, plus Katia Labeque and the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas.

Best-selling recording artist Corea is one of the most prolific and versatile composers of modern times. He draws on a range of styles from bebop to classical and jazz fusion to Brazilian styles.

The February performances will see these two musical greats join forces with top-ranking instrumentalists Kenny Garrett (saxophone), Brian Blade (drums) and Christian McBride (bass) in their new Five Peace Band.