Sunday, March 15, 2015

CHICK COREA – Is (LP-1969 / Solid State Records)

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!


  1. CHICK COREA – Is (LP-1969)
    Vinzl Rip/FLAC+Cover


  2. Many thanks for this share, Vitko.

  3. just saw chick last nite,oh,he was w/ herbie hancock,thanks

  4. Great post of one of my favorite Corea albums.
    This record has almost my age and remains as actual and refreshing as when it was released at the time.
    Mister W

  5. Hi Vitko,
    Chick Corea is a very talented musician but he also is a scientologist and I try to do not promote this cult so I will not download this LP,
    Thank you anyway for your excellent job with this blog

    1. What can I say? for this your comment...?... I think it is discussed here, only and exclusively, about the music.
      I choose the music !

  6. Absolutamente genial. Muchas gracias

  7. As to Corea's "religion,"... if he is good enough to be there when Miles made some of his best records, he is good enough to download.. Thetans be damned... but Scientology is kind of hokey.

  8. The "IS" album and ECMs Return to Forever are the two records I've chosen to play tonight in honour to the late Chick Corea. Both albums, as different as they are, had an huge impact to my young musical education. Coming from british hard and prog rock in the late sixties and early seventies, RTF, electric Miles and early Terje Rypdal turned me into Jazz Rock, Jazz, later into Free Jazz, Free Improv, Avantgarde etc.

    Especially the IS album, rather untypical in Chick Coreas amount of work, was a cornerstone for we, as it has been with Circle and Marion Browns "Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun".

    Chick Corea. He may Rest In Crystal Silence. Thanks dear Vitko for keeping the files of IS alive.