Died on Tuesday, February 9, from a devastating cancer, the American pianist Chick Corea had given one of his last concerts, on February 26, 2020, at the Halle aux Grains, in Toulouse. On this occasion, he had nurtured the project of playing one day with the Orchester du Capitole.
The news caught us off guard: Chick Corea, mort? We didn’t want to believe it. We saw him a year ago at the Halle aux Grains for one of his last concerts and if there is something that caught our attention then it was his youthful side.
February 26, 2020, the then 78-year-old American pianist had been imaginative and cheerful; an accomplice with his two friends, Christian McBride on double bass and Brian Blade on drums, as well as with the audience. Hadn’t he started the discussions by drawing a shaky mime, like “I’m scared, will I get there?” »Before offering a show of delicious vivacity, going from Thelonius Monk… to Scarlatti« (his) favorite pianist ».
A project with the Orchester du Capitole
Five years after Jazz closed on the 31st, Chick Corea arrived in Toulouse thanks to Grands interprètes. “It convinced us, on stage and behind the scenes, recalls Catherine d’Argoubet, director of the association. He was so cool; his desire to play and his curiosity were a pleasure to watch. He amazed us with his naturalness, his energy, his great kindness. She arrived in Toulouse the day before with her entire organization, she showed us her two faces: both very professional, very meticulous… so easy and really open. We quickly felt that we had known him for years. “
After the concert, it was Thierry d’Argoubet, general delegate of the Orchester du Capitole, who had issued another invitation to Chick Corea, to play with the Toulouse line-up in a classical-jazz alloy that immediately stimulated the pianist. He had left the room saying, “Why not? This beautiful project, like the concert that brought together the French National Orchestra conducted by Kurt Masur and Wynton Marsalis in 2003, at the Halle aux Grains, will not see the light of day. But let’s close our eyes and dream a little …