IThroughout the history of jazz, I can’t think of a piano-bass-drums trio that has played as closely as Chick Corea’s Akoustic Band: Corea on piano with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl . All three were also part of Corea’s Elektric Band, but the trio’s unplugged intimacy brings their music together, revealing fascinating details. Corea died in February at the age of 79, so this double album, from 2018, is likely their last recording.
They’ve all been in great shape here from the start, passing ideas around and seemingly reading each other’s minds. We notice that apart from the introductions of Corea, there is very rarely a real solo, when only one plays. Instead, one instrument shows up while the others make comments and asides, often triggering a whole new chain of melodic ideas.
There are wonderful examples of this in the very first track, the delicate Morning Sprite. In fact, a remarkable feat of virtuosity and rapport occurs in each of these 13 pieces. My favorite is an almost 10 minute fantasy on Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood, but they’re all stunning.