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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Five Peace Band

At the Rose Theater in NYC, the Five Peace Band of Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, & Brian Blade entertained us with classic, vintage jazz. John's fingers were ever so fast and delicate as he massaged the neck of his guitar. All night he teased us with "Birds of Fire" and gave us some finally. My head was about to explode so many times as he built those crescendos with Chick and Kenny. These three had a beautiful jazz challenge and counter challenge of riffs and "can you beat this" kind of night. Chick was absolutely magnificent as he centered everyone and then took us on some magical excursions. Kenny was filled with extremes from perfect catharsis to absolute abandon and noise. Twice I wished he would stop. The rhythm section of McBride on Bass and Blade on drums were superb. McBride played both electric and bull bass with great authority and resonance. At one point he picked up the bow and silenced the place as he did the classics proud finally settling us with the classic fingering of jazz. The happiest man up there was Brian Blade on drums and percussion. Throughout the evening we could hear him laughing and see him smiling a Cheshire cat smile and an occasional groan of pleasure.

They played "Raju" by John McLaughlin; "The Disguise" by Chick Corea; "New Blues Old Bruises" by John McLaughlin; "Senor C.S." by John McLaughlin; "In a Silent Way" by Joe Zawinul and Miles Davis; "Hymn to Andromeda" by Chick Corea; and ended with "Dr. Jackle" by Jackie McLean.

The last time I saw John McLaughlin was when his Mahavishnu Orchestra regaled us at Avery Fisher Hall in 1972. The last time I saw Corea was in 1978 when he played with Herbie Hancock at a concert in Boston.

The evening was a pleasant blast from the past and so powerful.

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