It’s an understatement to say that Chick Corea has been a lifelong friend and mentor to Keyboard magazine. He was featured on the cover of our debut issue in 1975, and has been regularly generous with his time and wisdom ever since. Here are just a few quotes from previous interviews over the decades. Happy 70th birthday, Chick, and may you rock our world for many, many more years to come.
SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 1975
On practicing: “If a guy wants to play jazz-rock music at heart, but feels for some reason (or someone told him) that he has to spend 12 hours a day practicing Beethoven, he’s going to be killing himself. So . . . do what you want to do and do it with unreserved intention, which is quite a task.”
On difficult riffs: “Just subdivide the scale or arpeggio or whatever it is and play it with two hands . . . with three notes in one hand and four in the other, or whatever. Get the hands to flow over one another up and down so that it sounds even, and you’ll be able to play twice as fast as you can play with one hand.”
On improvisation: “Somewhere in what you do, a sense of organization must take hold. . . . For instance, if you begin very slow and sparse, only a deranged mind would continue in that mode over a long, long length of time. The natural thing to do is to contrast with something of a different tempo and density. In this way, you deal with the dichotomies of life.”
On going electronic: “If it wasn’t for the fact that touch-sensitive keyboards are the order of the day, and if you didn’t have the sound systems and signal processors and good electronic keyboard sounds you can get now, I don’t think I would have gone all the way with this.”
On Herbie Hancock: “Herbie is unique in my life in that he’s so easy to play with. When we began noodling around with the idea of playing two pianos, it just started coming together so magically. . . . Also, our musical tastes are similar, and the kinds of musical games we like to do run along the same lines. Our lives are a bit of a mirror.”