Pianist Chick Corea Mixes Up Jazz And Classical08:53
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Chick Corea poses with the awards for best improvised jazz solo for "500 Miles High" and best jazz instrumental album for "Forever" at the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Chick Corea poses with the awards for best improvised jazz solo for "500 Miles High" and best jazz instrumental album for "Forever" at the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)

Multiple Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea has long been a fan of Mozart, recording "The Mozart Sessions" with Bobby McFerrin in 1996. In 2006, he was asked by organizers of Mozart's 250th birthday celebration in Vienna to write a symphonic work in the spirit of Mozart. The result was "The Continents," Corea's concerto for jazz quintet and orchestra, which has now been formally recorded and released on CD.

"The Continents" has six movements: Africa, Europe, Australia, America, Asia and Antarctica — but as Corea told Here & Now's Robin Young, he set out to write a concerto in the spirit of Mozart first, and the titles of the movements and the piece itself came afterwards.

Also included in the two-CD set are selections performed by the jazz quintet as well as piano solos by Corea. He says even though the recording of the concerto went smoothly, he still felt that there was more to explore. So Corea improvised on his piano, and the engineer kept recording.

Guest:

  • Chick Corea, Grammy award winning jazz pianist

This segment aired on March 19, 2012.

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