GRD-9649 Beneath The Mask
Produced by Chick Corea
Co-produced by Dave Weckl & John Patitucci
Released on August 1991
US JAZZ CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
GRD-9649 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he census in prog circles suggests the Elektric Band was winding down, though smooth fusion fans seem to get a charge out of this final disc from the original Elektric company. Spineless, shaven weasel that I am, I side somewhere in the middle, feigning toward the former’s phobia on the smoother cuts (“A Wave Goodbye” and “Free Step” are tasty but hardly chewy), leaning toward the latter’s enchantment with the impressive “Charged Particles” and “99 Flavors.” With John Patitucci and Dave Weckl cowriting most of the material, there’s no central theme at work on Beneath The Mask. The songs are short, lively, mostly smooth fusion numbers featuring lots of soprano sax and guitar solos. The core trio of Corea, Weckl and Patitucci are mostly in the background (Patitucci does get a cameo on “Jammin E. Cricket”) while Marienthal and Gambale are given the limelight. And so, under the sign of the staid emperor sit Chick and his chicklets, issuing smooth uniform slices of upbeat saxotarotimo songs and waiting for a strong third wind to guide them. Weckl and Patitucci sailed for new ports after this disc, making it something of a death mask (they looked so Alive not long ago), while Gambale and Marienthal stayed on board for the Emperor Elektrobath II. In my opinion, the next chapter (Paint The World) is far more interesting, so I have no trouble turning the page on Mask and moving on. Plus those RTF albums were made in the sweetly smoky analog air of the Seventies and not the airer-free digital clean rooms of the Nineties, with their soundbanks and triggers. If you enjoy the GRP smooth fusion sound, and a lot of people do (fusses all of them), Mask is a blast. If, however, the mere suggestion that a comparison could be made between Frank Gambale and Al DiMeola elicits a snort of Stop there before we both embarrass you, Mask ain’t gonna change your mind.

GRD-9649 back sleeve
GRD-9649 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BENEATH THE MASK    (Chick Corea/John Patitucci/Dave Weckl)    3:31
  2. LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT    (John Patitucci/Chick Corea)    3:47
  3. ONE OF US IS OVER 40    (Chick Corea/John Patitucci/Dave Weckl)    4:55
  4. A WAVE GOODBYE    (Chick Corea/Dave Weckl)    4:45
  5. LIFESCAPE    (Chick Corea)    5:10
  6. JAMMIN E. CRICKET    (John Patitucci/Dave Weckl/Chick Corea)    6:51
  7. CHARGED PARTICLES    (Chick Corea)    5:17
  8. FREE STEP    (Chick Corea)    7:44
  9. 99 FLAVORS    (Chick Corea)    3:52
  10. ILLUSIONS    (Chick Corea/John Patitucci/Dave Weckl)    9:44

CREDITS

CHICK COREA -- Yamaha: SY99, KX5, TX802, SY77; Kurzweil: Midi board, PX1000, RMX250, SX1000, HX1000; Synclavier; Midi Rhodes; E-MU: ProFormance, Proteus; Roland: Super Jupiter D-500; Mini Moog; Prophet VS; Korg Waveframe; percussion programming; mixing; album cover concept
FRANK GAMBALE -- electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar synth
ERIC MARIENTHAL -- soprano sax, alto sax
JOHN PATITUCCI -- 5 string bass, 6 string bass
DAVE WECKL -- drums, triggered Simmons, triggered slap bass, mixing
Ron Moss -- executive album producer, album cover concept, cover design
Dave Grusin & Larry Rosen -- executive producers
Bernie Kirsh -- engineer, mixing
Barton Stabler -- cover illustration
Mike Manoogian -- graphic design, cover design & lettering
Harrison Funk -- photography

return to CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US August 1991 GRP CD/CS GRD/GRC-9649  

 

DID YOU KNOW?

New Jersey-based illustrator Barton Stabler, who illustrated the covers for the first Elektric Band albums, also has a series of business illustrations for corporate presentations? (We all need to pay the bills, as I can attest.) You can view his Roundhead series of illustrations and purchase the set from Fotosearch for $200, which is a good price for unique, royalty-free business graphics. Yes, I know what you're thinking: Remember when this site used to be about the music?

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