This week, the world has lost two significant American musical figures: singer Mary Wilson of The Supremes, and jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader Chick Corea. I’m still pondering Wilson and hope to post something tomorrow.
Though I have some dear friends playing in the genre, jazz is a style I know little about. And I don’t know Corea’s music at all, though I thought there was a record of his in a collection of LPs I bought from one of my brothers many years ago. I looked for it tonight but couldn’t find it. Maybe it was misfiled, or just a figment of my imagination.
At any rate, I set out online to find something suitable to post and found what I think is a real gem: a recording of Corea’s famous composition “Spain.”
The version on his second album, Light as a Feather released in 1973 with Return to Forever, the band he co-founded, opens with an interpretation of the Adagio from the guitar concerto Concierto de Aranjuez written in 1939 by the visually-disabled Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999). Like the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber (1910-1981), classical Adagio movements have been used to add drama to cinema, such as director Peter Weir’s 1981 film, Gallipoli, where the Adagio by Tomasino Albinoni (1671-1751) underscores the heartbreaking tragedy and loss of life from war.
For me, the Rodrigo Adagio introduction’s solemnity is meaningful and a serendipitous discovery as the world says farewell to yet another musical great.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here.
Here’s the audio from the official Chick Corea YouTube channel: