In 1982 Billy met Mzwandile Qotoyi (second from left in photograph) at an engineering firm in Cape Town where they were doing day time jobs not realizing at the time that this was to be the last tme that they would be working for a boss. Billy was in the process of arranging his first major concert.since he decided to go solo. Billy decided that it would be a good idea to gather as many of his friends that he has shared the stage with over the years. " I have often toyed with the idea of one day getting all my old buddies in showbusiness to come together and have one big ball. Its no easy matter getting musicians together, as they are a travelling tribe. But, I have succeeded in getting many of my old friends together and the response has been overwhelming." So, the music to be featured at St. Aden's Church Hall in Lansdowne on Friday 13, 1982 could not be more diverse. Amampondo was to be the main attraction. They featured Simpiwe Matole on Chopi Mozambique xylephone, bongos, xylephone, marimbas, kudu horn and vocal. Dizu Plaatjies on vocal, bells, xylephone and bongos. Blakie Mbizela congas, kudu horn and vocal . Nkuleko Ladonga on bongos, marimba and vocal. Mzwandile Qotoyi on slide drum, chopi xylephone, bongos, marimba and vocal.
Amampondo, formed eighteen year ago in Langa Township, South Africa, actively attempts to preserve their African identity and to pursue a musically pure African ideology. Working closely with ethnomusicologists, they studied the myriad of rhythms and instruments present throughout the African continent, the result being music that has evolved into a neo-traditional African sound that fuses the rhythms, dance and songs of the South African people with those of cultures throughout the continent.
|Carlos Benevolent, Chic Corea, Billy Brink Cape Town 1982|
Chick Corea's three decade promenade through the pages of Jazz history has been highly prolific and diverse. Born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Massachusetts onJune 12, 1941,Chick's father was a musician who had him studying piano by age four in a home filled with the music of
Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Lester Young and Horace Silver, as well as Beethoven and Mozart. Chick moved to New York in the early 1960s and worked with
Jazz and Latin groups, including Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader and Mongo Santamaria. After a year accompanying Sarah Vaughan, he rose to true prominence in the jazz world by
joining Miles Davis' band, playing first acoustic, then electric piano at the insistence of the trumpeter legend. Although Chick played on the groundbreaking classic recordings Bitches Brew
and In A Silent Way with Miles, the first group he played with after he left Davis was an experimental avant-garde group, Circle, with bassist Dave Holland, drummer Barry Altschul and
saxman Anthony Braxton.
In 1971, after three years of touring the planet with Circle, Chick changed his focus again and formed Return To Forever. The early edition of the group (which featured the young Stanley
Clarke on bass) was a softer, samba-flavored ensemble featuring Flora Purim on vocals, her husband Airto on drums and reedman Joe Farrell. Two albums and a few solo piano releases later, Chick and Stanley chose to perform a more electric type of fusion, and teamed with drummer Lenny White and guitarist Bill Connors. While Corea was forging a unique style on the Moog synthesizer, RTF (with Al DiMeola replacing Connors) spearheaded the mid-70's fusion movement with such innovative albums as Where Have I Known You Before, the Grammy-winning No Mystery and Romantic Warrior. When RTF disbanded in 1975, Corea delved into a diverse series of recordings--electronic ensembles, solo piano, classical music,
and acoustic duos with Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton.Other Chick projects leading up to his mid-80's formation of the Elektric Band were the Grammy winning Leprechaun, My
Spanish Heart, and Musicmagic, the latter of which was a new Return To Forever project with vocalist and wife, Gayle Moran. Then: Mad Hatter, RTF Live, and work with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Chaka Khan, and Nancy Wilson, among others.
Almost a decade after the breakup of RTF, Chick began an association with GRP Records in 1986 that was marked by the release of a recording with his new group, the Elektric Band and
the beginning of a collaboration with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl. Thanks to Chick's unique compositions and the remarkably high level of musicianship in the group, the
Elektric Band went on to become one of the most important fusion groups of the decade. Corea, Patitucci and Weckl also recorded and performed acoustic music as the Akoustic Band,
stretching out in a straightahead fashion.
In 1992, Chick realized a lifelong goal and -- along with his manager, Ron Moss -- formed the GRP subsidiary Stretch Records, a label committed to extending musical boundaries (like its founder) and focusing more on freshness and creativity than musical style. Among its early releases have been projects by Bob Berg, John Patitucci, Eddie Gomez, and Robben Ford.
Chick's latest release on Stretch is Time Warp, featuring his new Quartet, with saxophonist Bob Berg, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Gary Novak. "My interests change and vary as the years go along, with different emphases all the time," Chick muses. "The more I play
in different situations, the more possibilities I discover for what I can do.."
|Errol Dyers, Janet, Billy.Jazz Studio'97|