Chick Corea & Bela Fleck 1.16.14
University of Denver
Words By J. Picard
Photos By Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot)
The duo took the stage in a jovial fashion, joking about how Chick was excited and the root of his excitement was that Bela would be having no fun. Following an exaggerated shuffling of papers and some avant garde taps on the banjo, the show was underway. The mood was light, though the music was heavy technically and emotionally, digging deep into incredible emotion filled melodies and progressions. First set selections included a song for Bela's wife entitled "Waltse For Abby," as well as a song Bela wrote in the early hours of a morning in an airport awaiting a flight home to be with his newly born son, "Juno." Through mind blowing compositions came light-hearted banter, presumably to balance out the somewhat inaccessible nature of the classical genre of music. The duo also performed a song that chick wrote to perform with Bela, "Joban Dna Nopia," who communicated how much that meant to him. Chick suggested that their melodies were illegal, to which Bela replied "A lot of things are legal in Denver." Almost an hour on the dot after the the set began, it came to a close with folks shuffling back out into the lobby. While many ordered another round of drinks, some remained in their seats instead opting for a good book or a few minutes to rest their eyes.
Through two one hour sets, Chick and Bela performed masterful compositions to a sold out and appreciative crowd. Each arrangement demanded an incredible level of focus, knowledge and intuition. The overall performance was casual greatness, as many had never witnessed such skill delivered so nonchalantly. Without a missed note or a noticeable missed cue, Chick and Bela engaged one and other evoking a level of connection and chemistry typically unseen. The result was nothing short of spectacular. As the crowd filed out of the auditorium, there was a certain excitement in the air. Regardless of age or musical background, the evening's performance may have been the performance of the year if not a lifetime.
Kevin's Photo Gallery