October - December 2021
Victor Bailey -- Chick Corea
Disclaimer: I do not own the music. All rights go to their respective owners.
Victor Bailey was an American bass guitar player. He was the bassist for Weather Report during their final years from 1982 to 1986, and launched a solo career in 1988. As a musician, Bailey was known for his signature scat-bass solos. Born in Philadelphia, on March 27, 1960, Victor Randall Bailey was raised by a highly musical family. His father, Morris Bailey Jr., was an active musician and composer, while his uncle, Donald "Duck" Bailey, was a jazz drummer, who played on numerous Blue Note records (e.g., Jimmy Smith Trio, Hampton Hawes, Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie). As a child, Bailey played the drums, but ultimately switched to bass guitar after the bassist in his neighborhood band walked out of a band practice. Because young Victor took an immediate liking to the instrument, his father encouraged him to become a bass player. Beginning in 1978, at the age of 18, Bailey attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston after being disqualified from naval service due to asthma. Fender released a Victor Bailey Signature acoustic bass guitar, as well as the Victor Bailey Jazz Bass (Artist series), available in 4, 5-string, fretted and fretless versions. Bailey also used Markbass amplifiers. Like his father, Bailey suffered from Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease for most of his adult life. As the disease progressed, Bailey began using a cane to offset his weakened legs. The weakness finally spread to his upper body, necessitating his 2015 retirement from performing and from his teaching position at Berklee College of Music. He died on November 11, 2016 in Stafford, VA, likely from complications from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea was an American jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader, and occasional percussionist. His compositions "Spain", "500 Miles High", "La Fiesta", "Armando's Rhumba" and "Windows" are widely considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis's band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed Return to Forever. Along with McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, and Keith Jarrett, Corea is considered one of the foremost jazz pianists of the post-John Coltrane era. Corea continued to collaborate frequently while exploring different musical styles throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He won 25 Grammy Awards and was nominated over 60 times. Armando Corea was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, to parents Anna (née Zaccone) and Armando J. Corea. He was of southern Italian descent, his father having been born to an immigrant from Albi comune, in the Province of Catanzaro in the Calabria region. His father, a trumpeter who led a Dixieland band in Boston in the 1930s and 1940s, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Surrounded by jazz, he was influenced at an early age by bebop and Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, and Lester Young. When he was eight, he took up drums, which would influence his use of the piano as a percussion instrument. Corea developed his piano skills by exploring music on his own. A notable influence was concert pianist Salvatore Sullo, from whom Corea started taking lessons at age eight and who introduced him to classical music, helping spark his interest in musical composition. He also spent several years as a performer and soloist in the St. Rose Scarlet Lancers, a drum and bugle corps based in Chelsea. Corea began his professional recording and touring career in the early 1960s with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz. He recorded his debut album, Tones for Joan's Bones, in 1966 (not released until 1968). Two years later he released a highly regarded trio album, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Miroslav Vitous. In 1968, Corea began recording and touring with Miles Davis, appearing on the widely praised Davis studio albums Filles de Kilimanjaro, In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew and On the Corner, as well as the later compilation albums Big Fun, Water Babies and Circle in the Round. Named after their eponymous 1972 album, Corea's Return to Forever band relied on both acoustic and electronic instrumentation and initially drew upon Latin American music styles more than rock music. On their first two records, the group consisted of Flora Purim on vocals and percussion, Joe Farrell on flute and soprano saxophone, Miles Davis bandmate Airto on drums and percussion, and Stanley Clarke on acoustic double bass. Drummer Lenny White and guitarist Bill Connors later joined Corea and Clarke to form the second version of the group, which blended the earlier Latin music elements with rock and funk-oriented music partially inspired by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, led by his Bitches Brew bandmate John McLaughlin. This incarnation of the band recorded the album Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, before Connors' replacement by Al Di Meola, who was present on the subsequent Where Have I Known You Before, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior. In 2015, he reprised the duet concert series with Hancock, again sticking to a dueling-piano format, though both now integrated synthesizers into their repertoire. The first concert in this series was at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle and included improvisations, compositions by the duo, and standards by other composers. Corea died of a rare form of cancer, which had only been recently diagnosed, at his home in the Tampa Bay area of Florida on February 9, 2021, at age 79.