Corea’s interest in Spanish music was well documented on My Spanish Heart, and he continued to place his own slant on it with Touchstone, which included two tracks with flamenco guitarist Paco De Lucia and De Lucia’s bassist Carles Benavent. Two decades later, while on tour in Europe, Corea found himself reacquainted with Benavent and two other De Lucia alumni—saxophonist/flautist Jorge Pardo and percussionist Rubem Dantas. From this chance meeting emerged a new project, Touchstone, with a European 2004 tour the source for Rhumba Flamenco.
My Spanish Heart is a precedent for Touchstone, which also includes longtime Corea collaborator Tom Brechtlein on drums. But this quintet has a stronger affinity for the rich intricacies and rhythmic subtleties of the Spanish—and specifically flamenco—roots of Corea’s compositions than the core group of My Spanish Heart. And the acoustic nature of Touchstone realizes a more fundamental link to its source’s organic style.
The writing on this double-disc set represents Corea’s most successful marriage of improvisational freedom with longer form composition. Informed by the broader latitude and suite-like nature of classical composition, Corea assimilates writing styles honed on My Spanish Heart and other albums from that era, including Friends and The Leprechaun—even the final incarnation of Return to Forever that toured and released Live in 1977.
- Blanco con Puntillo
- You're Everything
- Alan Corday
- Anna's Tango
- Rhumba Flamenco