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Chick Corea On World Cafe

Chick Corea with World Cafe host Talia Schlanger inside a rehearsal room at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Dan Muse
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Courtesy of the artist
Chick Corea with World Cafe host Talia Schlanger inside a rehearsal room at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Even though he's had his hand in more than 100 albums, watching Chick Corea play piano feels like seeing him fall in love with his instrument for the first time. Maybe that's why he called his latest album (a collaboration with drummer Steve Gadd) Chinese Butterfly. In Chinese symbolism, the butterfly represents the excitement and fluttering heart of young love.

Chick keeps the kind of schedule you can only endure if you're infatuated with what you do. On the day we spoke, Chick was in the middle of learning an entire program of Thelonious Monk music to perform with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Chick had just finished leading that same orchestra in an entirely different program of his own material. A couple of years ago Chick turned 75, and to celebrate, he kicked back and relaxed with an eight-week residency at the Blue Note Jazz club in New York where he led more than a dozen variations of bands. Chick will be on tour around the world through the fall (and beyond, I'm willing to bet.)

World Cafe host Talia Schlanger sitting with Chick Corea during rehearsal at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
John Myers / WXPN
/
WXPN
World Cafe host Talia Schlanger sitting with Chick Corea during rehearsal at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

We visited Chick as he was seated at the piano in a rehearsal room at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Chick told stories about working with Miles Davis -- both on stage and on Bitches Brew -- watching Thelonious Monk perform and composing the famous song "Spain" while we try to wrap our heads around the breakneck pace of his creative life. Listen in the player.

Copyright 2018 XPN

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.
Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.
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