Legendary jazz pianist, composer and 22-time Grammy Award winner Chick Corea turned 75 in June, and has been celebrating this milestone with a series of dates at The Blue Note Jazz Club, featuring many different band lineups. The fest started in October and will continue through December 11 with a spectacular line up of Corea, Jon McLaughlin, Lenny White and Victor Wooten in a show called "Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu."

On Tuesday, November 22 Chick performed with the amazing vibraphonist and nine-time Grammy winner Gary Burton and The Harlem String Quartet, one of a few shows with this lineup. Corea and Burton have recorded seven albums together and they started off the evening with four songs from those: "Love Castle," "Native Sense," "Crystal Silence" and a cover of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House" and a spectacular version of Thelonious Monk's "Four in One." Chick shows no signs of slowing down, his playing was nothing short of spectacular and the musical relationship with Burton is magically intuitive.

The Harlem String Quartet (Ilmar Gavilán - Violin, Melissa White - Violin, Jaime Amador - Viola and Felix Umansky - Cello) then joined the prestigious duo for five songs before things veered into a set of elegant, classical chamber music. This particular line-up also won a Grammy for their 2012 release Hot House and the Corea composition “Mozart Goes Dancing” which was included in their set. A full setlist is included in the photos.

At one point Chick made a noticeable mistake which he dismissed to the audience by saying it was his birthday and he could do what he wanted. They also joked after performing one song that they did it much faster than rehearsal -- you could see how frantic the pace was but neither musician missed a beat. Corea was very friendly and joked with the sold-out crowd throughout his set, He was clearly enjoying himself to the fullest.

Chick Corea & Gary Burton are performing with the string quartet again tonight (11/23) for two more shows at The Blue Note. The early show is sold out but there are still tickets available for the 10:30 PM show. It's a great opportunity to see some extraordinary musicians performing monumental works and is highly recommended.

photos and review by Greg Cristman

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