Chick Corea, a jazz legend, has died. He played with Miles Davis

Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters

U.S. jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea performs during the Malta Jazz Festival in Valletta, Malta July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Farewell to Chick Corea. The jazz legend passed away at the age of 79 due to a rare form of cancer that had only recently been discovered. “He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and he was a mentor and friend to many,” reads the note announcing his death. “Through his work and decades of touring the world, he has touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” continues the note, which also contains a message from Korea himself to his fans and musician friends. “I want to thank everyone who helped me during my trip. I hope that those who feel they can write, play and perform will do so. If you don’t do it for yourself at least do it for us. The world not only needs more artists, it’s also a lot of fun, ”he said to his fans. He took leave of his musician friends, saying: “it was a blessing and an honor to learn and play with all of you. My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating wherever I could, and having been able to do it with all the artists I admire has been the richness of my life ”.

Korea was one of the central figures in the development of jazz in the postwar period. His compositions ‘Spain’, ‘500 Miles High’ and ‘La Fiesta’ are classics of jazz. He played in Miles Davis’ band in the late 1960s, collaborating on some of his most famous albums, including ‘Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West’ and ‘Miles Davis at Fillimore: Live at the Fillmore East’. In the 1970s, Korea founded Return to Forever, one of the major groups of the jazz-fusion movement. With Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, Korea is considered one of the most important jazz pianists of the post 1960s. Very prolific he continued to compose and play even after the dissolution of Return to Forever. Nominated 67 times for the Grammys, he won the prestigious award on 23 occasions, the first in 1976 with ‘No Mistery’ along with Return to Forever. During his career he has released more than 80 albums.

“It’s a huge loss, no one was open anymore,” recalls John Mayer, who worked with Korea. In a 2018 interview with Jazz Night in America, Korea said: “We have the task of being an antidote to war and all the dark sides of what happens on Earth. We are the ones who have to remind people of their creativity ”.

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