SANTA FE, N.M. — Just by himself, keyboardist Chick Corea is a heavyweight when it comes to modern jazz.
Throw in a couple of fellow virtuosos like bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, and what you’ve got is a power Trilogy ready to jam through a energetic evening of improvisation.
The Chick Corea Trilogy plays The Lensic on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
The Corea, McBride, Blade union that was first born in the early part of this decade – winning a Grammy along the way – was given a recent rebirth simply because it made sense, said the 78-year-old Corea.
“I always love playing with this trio,” he said in an email interview. “The requests for the trio were mounting and so we decided to put this new collection of songs out, and go out on the road again to have some fun.”
Having fun is what it’s all about, he said, whether it is the folks in the seats or the guys on the stage.
“I’d say that’s the whole point,” Corea said. “Creative fun for us and creative fun for the audience.”
And each night brings a little so mething different, he said, especially since the busy musicians rarely get the chance to practice together often.
“Well, we really don’t rehearse that much and I would say 90% of the show is improvised each night,” Corea said. “The spontaneity is the fun of it.”
It is obvious that there is a common theme among his answers that playing music is a darn good time.
“We like to make people feel good and experienced the joy of creating,” he said.
And playing with the likes of McBride and Blade just fuels that feeling, Corea said.
“Christian and Brian have always inspired me,” he said. ‘When we play together as a trio, we have a lot of creative fun. The trio always generates new ideas.”
Throughout his legendary career, Corea has won 22 Grammys. He is the has the fourth most nominations in the award’s history, with 63, and also has earned three Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category.
McBride, classically trained at the Juilliard School in New York City, has six Grammy awards under his belt. He is also an educator and advocate, having spoken during President Clinton’s 1997 town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts.”
And Blade is an eclectic performer who has played alongside such legendary musicians as Bob Dylan, Pat Matheny, Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell, among many others.
As for what to expect when the Trilogy hits the stage, expect a wild ride through the unexpected, Corea said.
“Our set list varies night to night and we draw from all of our experiences,” he said. “Some of my compositions, standards and just music we love. I sometimes bring new music and new arrangements in for the trio.”
This is not the first time that Corea has played Santa Fe, but it has been quite some time.
“We tend to go play where the invitations come from,” he said. “Santa Fe is a beautiful town. I remember premiering my string quartet there many years ago.”
Thuugh it has been a while since visiting Santa Fe, Corea said there’s a possibility that it will not be his last time as he has no intention of slowing his touring down any time soon. He’s simply having too much fun.
“I love to tour and play,” Corea said. “I really don’t have an intention to stop.”