Chick Corea and Touchstone at the Sheraton G.A.M. Show
The Night of February 13th, a Monday night Jazz At The Sheraton Concert became a Spanish invasion. Pianist Legend Chick Corea brought his Spanish Band " Touchstone " with three key members from Spain, bassist Carles Benavent, flute and saxman Jorge Pardo and percussionist Rubem Dantas.By Steve Williams
Salt Lake City, Ut – The Night of February 13th, a Monday night Jazz At The Sheraton Concert became a Spanish invasion. Pianist Legend Chick Corea brought his Spanish Band " Touchstone " with three key members from Spain, bassist Carles Benavent, flute and saxman Jorge Pardo and percussionist
Carles Benavent was part of the Touchstone band with Chick back in the mid eighty's as was the fantastic drummer Tom Brechtlein. Brechtlein, I've known since 1982 when he'd played Salt Lake City with the band, the Fowler Brothers, who were Salt Lakers. Also playing with guitarist Mike Miller, who also played Salt Lake a lot during those years.
The band was an orgy of rhythm with everyone including Chick playing percussion instruments.
The music was mostly from their new CD "Ultimate Adventure", based on the book by L. Ron Hubbard.
The rhythm was enough that a flamenco dancer named Auxi Fernandez came out half way into the show and demonstrated why dancers have the best rhythm going in all of the extremities. She was lovely in her outfit with a shawl she kept adjusting in smooth movements. Her feet in those wooden healed dance shoes were like flashes of movement with sound, so metrical. She didn't miss a beat with foot or hand. She made the show multi-dimensional and was very appreciative of the crowd.
Benavent on the bass kept an excellent bottom end groove going with a smile. The percussionist Rubem Dantas was talking all night through his hand playing the varied hand drums. Pardo the Flutist played the rare bass flute with it's wrap around neck with so much rhythm he also was part of the rhythm section. Brechtlein the drummer was totally emerged in his steady drumming beat and worked up quite a sweat. And the master, Chick Corea played acoustic and electric pianos along with some hand percussion instruments.
The night ended with encores and lastly ending with Chick's classic from way back, "Spain" which everyone took part in. Audience included on cues.
I sat right behind our Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and his son and friend. The Governor, a keyboardist, himself told me he'd been a huge Chick fan for decades and his son a drummer were
locked into the mesmerizing rhythms all night long.
At the end before departing I asked the Governor and his son if there was enough rhythm for them in the show and they smiled back and said, yes. We shook hands and promised to always enjoy live music.
Steve "Daddy-O" Williams was born in Manhattan at the end of WWII to a big band Dad and a dancer Mom. He studied music at the University of Utah, and loves playing with small groups. He got his start in radio in 1979, here at KUER, and became Jazz Director in 1984.