Chick Corea - The Mad Hatter (1978) Reissue 1993
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 332 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 143 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Jazz Fusion | Label: Verve/Polygram | # 519 799-2 | Time: 00:50:02
This post-Return to Forever Chick Corea LP is a bit of a mixed bag. Corea is heard on his many keyboards during an atmospheric "The Woods," interacts with a string section on "Tweedle Dee," features a larger band plus singer Gayle Moran on a few other songs and even welcomes fellow keyboardist Herbie Hancock for the "Mad Hatter Rhapsody." The most interesting selection, a quartet rendition of "Humpty Dumpty" with tenorman Joe Farrell set the stage for his next project, Friends. Overall, this is an interesting and generally enjoyable release.
The great thing about this album is that, unusually for Chick Corea, the whole album always seems to be based upon a single theme, musically and topically speaking. But the thing that makes this album great is that it sounds as if Alice has fallen about a 7.3 million miles deeper down the rabbit whole than she did in the film. Like Beethoven, Chick takes a simple theme of musical structure or idea within a phrase and seems to stretch it out as far as it can go and takes it to incredible visions and bends it this way or that. Each track instrumentally and stylistically is a million miles apart yet there are these crucial elements that keep them together.
"The Woods" is a mystical synthesizer arrangement with dramatic sounds, which when put on loud speakers, seems to envelop and drown you within slow waves off fantasy-type oddity. That leads onto something more orchestral and all-together bonkers and peculiar, Cheshire Cat style. That leads onto the swingiest jazz in my collection "Humpty Dumpty", with some insane drumming, acoustic piano and bass in it. Then towards the end the whole thing turns into an Alice-type musical with stage-shivering vocals.
For jazz lovers this album is a gem. For anyone that likes Alice In Wonderland (I'm not a huge fan, but this album seems to add oceans of depth to the film)then this is a must-have too. The music is wonderfully complex yet it all adds to the atmosphere and the feeling of being lost within a children's book illustrations. Chick is a great pianist and being a pianist myself, I study his technique carefully. There is much to learn here for almost any musician and indeed, any daring, bold and adventurous listener.
01. The Woods (04:25)
02. Tweedle Dee (01:08)
03. The Trial (01:39)
04. Humpty Dumpty (06:30)
05. Prelude To Falling (01:19)
06. Falling Alice (08:16)
07. Tweedle Dum (02:50)
08. Dear Alice (13:07)
09. The Mad Hatter Rhapsody (10:43)