P2-25657 My Spanish Heart
Produced by Chick Corea
Released on November 1976
US CHART POSITION #55 . . . US JAZZ ALBUMS CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
P2-25657 cover  

Q uintessential Corea. My Spanish Heart displays the duality of Chick Corea’s music: the Romantic classicist on one hand, the mad Moogician on the other. Though born in New England, the Latin music of Corea’s home has followed him throughout his career. On My Spanish Heart, we follow Corea as he paints the brilliant nightsky, sheltered gardens, proud hilltops and street festivals of a Spain remembered. Featuring only a handful of carefully chosen collaborators, these songs become a showcase for Corea’s articulate playing garnished with graceful flourishes, a style that draws comparison to past Romantic composers Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin. (Incidentally, I don’t invoke these titans of the tinkling ivory lightly; to my mind, Corea earns their esteemed company on this outing.) Of the songs and cycles featured here, “Armando’s Rhumba” deserves first mention. It is one of the few Corea originals to become a classic in his lifetime. Joined by violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, the pair blend their sympathetic styles into a timeless celebration of sound. Also notable is Corea’s transposing of the flamenco for keyboards, exhibited in “Day Danse” and the opening of the four-part “Spanish Fantasy.” These pieces, and to a large extent the entire effort, are forcibly stamped with a Spanish mood. Not that you wouldn’t find the same themes at work on many Corea albums; the airy vocals of Gayle Moran on “Love Castle” or the intellectual pursuits of “Day Danse” and sections of “Spanish Fantasy” are hybrids that Corea has revisited many times over his career. What separates My Spanish Heart from the horde of also-rans is the consistent twisting of the diamond to illuminate a different and yet related facet of Corea’s Spanish fancy. Throwing the listener in the midst of the party on “Night Streets,” then painting a peaceful scene with Stanley Clarke on “The Hilltops,” keeps the audience attuned to the great variety of sounds that Spain can evoke. And Corea even finds occasion to deflate his own balloon for the humorous grotesques of “El Bozo.” At once refined and passionate, My Spanish Heart gets to the heart of Chick Corea’s appeal like no other album I own from him. Note that, in trimming the original double elpee down to a single disc, “Sky” and “Clouds” were clipped from the picture, though what remains is still a rich musical landscape.

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOVE CASTLE    4:47
  2. THE GARDENS    3:11
  3. DAY DANSE    4:29
  4. MY SPANISH HEART    1:37
  5. NIGHT STREETS    6:02
  6. THE HILLTOP    6:15
  7. *SKY
  8. WIND DANSE    4:55
  9. ARMANDO'S RHUMBA    5:19
  10. PRELUDE TO EL BOZO    1:36
  11. EL BOZO, PART I    2:49
  12. EL BOZO, PART II    2:06
  13. EL BOZO, PART III    4:56
  14. SPANISH FANTASY, PART I    6:07
  15. SPANISH FANTASY, PART II    5:11
  16. SPANISH FANTASY, PART III    3:09
  17. SPANISH FANTASY, PART IV    5:04
  18. *CLOUDS

    All music composed and arranged by Chick Corea

CREDITS

CHICK COREA -- acoustic piano, mini-moog, Moog 15, Arp Odessy (sp?), Yamaha organ, Polymoog, Fender piano, handclapping, foot stomping, male choir
DON ALIAS -- percussion
STEVE GADD -- drums
GAYLE MORAN -- vocals and vocal choir
Ariaga Quartet
  Connie Kunka -- second violin
  Carol Mukogawa -- viola
  Barry Socher -- first violin
  David Speltz -- cello
Stuart Blumberg -- trumpet
Stanley Clarke -- acoustic bass
Ron Moss -- trombone, recording manager
Jean Luc Ponty -- violin (9)
John Rosenberg -- trumpet
John Thomas -- lead trumpet
Narada Michael Walden -- handclapping (9)
Bernie Kirsh -- engineer
Kenneth McGowan -- photography
Peter Corriston/Mike Doud -- art direction
David Heffernan -- photo manipulation
Hal Fiedler -- calligrapy

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1976 Polydor 2LP/8T 2/8T2-9003 gatefold cover
UK 1976 Polydor 2LP 2672 031 gatefold cover
US 1990 Polydor CD/CS 825 657 CD edited wo. two tracks (*)
US 1990 Polydor CD P2-25657 Columbia House reissue,
CD edited wo. two tracks (*)
JPN   Polydor CD UCCU-5121  
WW March 7, 2000 Polygram/Verve CD 543 303 digital remaster
JPN May 26, 2003 Universal CD   wo. "Clouds"

 

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