Label: Solid State Records – SS 18055
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1969
Style: Free Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded at Bell Sound, New York City on May 11/12, 1969.
Art Direction – Frank Gauna
Painting [Cover] – Hans Weingaertner
Mastered At – Bell Sound Studios
Producer – Sonny Lester
A - Is ...................................... 29:01
(by – C. Corea)
B1 - Jamala .............................. 14:14
(by – D. Holland)
B2 - This .................................... 8:18
(by – C. Corea)
B3 - It ......................................... 0:28
(by – C. Corea)
Chick Corea – piano, el. piano
Woody Shaw – trumpet
Bennie Maupin – tenor saxophone
Hubert Laws – piccolo flute
Dave Holland – double bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums
Horace Arnold – percussion
There is nothing better than hearing jazz legends as much younger men; hungry, talented and wanting to make their mark on the world. This album gives you all of that. Corea, Holland, DeJohnette and a very very fierce pre-Headhunters Bennie Maupin, then there are also surprisingly free Woody Shaw and Hubert Laws. Legends one and all.
Although the recording of Chick Corea’s “IS” sessions took place in May of 1969, the rhythm section, which consists of bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and legendary Latin/hard-bop/fusion pianist Chick Corea, found its footing seven months earlier in the electric tone poems of the In A Silent Way sessions under Miles Davis’s leadership.
The “IS” sessions, is a great LP released on Solid State Records, which is a musical example of the exploratory sound of 1969. On IS, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette largely break into the “new thing” or avant-garde with the help of hard bop players Woody Shaw and Bennie Maupin, flutist Hebert Laws, and percussionist Horace Arnold.
Records begins with “Is” is a 28 minutes of free association, a free jazz opus which symbolizes the experimental attitude that was present in American music and society in the late ’60s.
“Jamala” introduces the free-form style with which begins the second side of the album. The piece, composed by Holland, is over fourteen minutes of avant-garde ramblings, unstated tempos, and dissonant piano chord changes.
“This” breaks into free jazz territory, with Maupin dodging in and out of Corea’s lines on electric piano. It’s not suprising that Corea’s soloing on “This” has the seemingly chaotic but controlled intonations of Herbie Hancock considering they both played in Miles Davis’s free bop quintet on Filles De Kilimanjaro. Over five minutes of “This” is dedicated to showing off the simultaneous improvisation between Holland and Corea.
“It,” a 28 second classical duet between flutist Laws and Corea that is based on an original Corea composition called “Trio for Flute, Bassoon, and Piano.”
This music is 46 years old now. Just realize what has happened during this time in contemporary music - jazz or "classical": The borderline has completely vanished. Listen to 21st century contemporary music ("classical") - it sounds like Chick Corea in 1969.
If you find it, buy this album!