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Chick Corea, a versatile Jazz pianist whose career spans several decades, has died according to reports. The legendary musician was battling a rare form of cancer, according to details provided by his family.
Armando Anthony Corea was born on June 12, 1941, in Chelsea, Mass., was influenced by his father, a Jazz trumpeter of South Italian descent. Corea’s father played in clubs around Boston, which a young Chick witnessed and developed an interest in the musical genre. He began playing live shows while still in high school ahead of a stint in New York City to study music at both Columbia University and the Juilliard School, quitting both early.
Corea began his professional career in the 1960s with Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and Mongo Santamaria, all known names in the Jazz world. As a bandleader, Corea recorded his debut Tones for Joan’s Bones in 1966 and it was released two years later.
As a session player for Miles Davis, Corea played the electronic piano, using a device called the ring modulator. This innovation gave way to the heavy electronic experimentation heard in the burgeoning Jazz Fusion scene in the early 1970s. It was this style of music that Corea earned many of his chief accolades and his playing left an indelible mark on the genre as a whole.
Corea eventually made his return to a more traditional jazz sound by way of the acoustic piano, replaying standards of the legends before him. Corea’s final studio album as a bandleader, Plays, was released last year.
Over the course of his career, Corea won 23 Grammy Awards and was nominated over 60 times. He released 81 studio albums, several live albums, and dozens of collaborations with other Jazz players.
Across Twitter, Corea’s name is trending with fans giving their respects to the pianist.
Chick Corea was 79.
We are stunned and deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our friend @ChickCorea. Chick is irreplaceable. One of the greatest and most influential pianists to ever live. We are so lucky to have spent so much time with Chick Corea over the past 40 years. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/TAeOYRXlm6
— Blue Note New York (@BlueNoteNYC) February 11, 2021
Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, & Jack DeJohnette
For the BBC ‘Jazz Scene’ TV show filmed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, November 2, 1969
? David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/19Dl0qQo1G
— jeff (@jazyjef) February 11, 2021
Why why why . Why Chick man. Can’t believe it. RIP Chick Corea, thank you for your music ?.
— DOMi Louna (@DOMi_keys) February 11, 2021
Chick Corea: “I thought of my friends and how much our companionship and love meant to me . . . Life no longer looked dim but very bright and the things that were problems now looked like so many small imperfections which simply needed tending and repair.” pic.twitter.com/kd2aY7H1Yr
— Brad Farberman (@BradFarberman) February 11, 2021