Corea, Jazz Keyboardist and Innovator, Dies at 79
When jazz and rock fused in the 1970s, he was at the
forefront of the movement. But he never abandoned his love of
the acoustic piano.
The pianist, composer and bandleader Chick Corea at the Blue Note
in Manhattan in 2012. In his long career, he recorded close to
90 albums as a bandleader or co-leader and won 23 Grammys. Credit...Karsten
Moran for The New York Times
By Giovanni Russonello
Feb. 11, 2021
Updated 7:40 p.m. ET
Chick Corea, an architect of the
jazz-rock fusion boom in the 1970s who spent more than a half century
as one of the foremost pianists in jazz, died on Tuesday at home
in Tampa, Fla. He was 79.
The cause was cancer, said Dan
Muse, a web and marketing manager for Mr. Corea.
Mr. Corea’s best-known band was
Return to Forever, a collective with a rotating membership that
nudged the genre of fusion into greater contact with Brazilian,
Spanish and other global influences. It also provided Mr. Corea
with a palette on which to experiment with a growing arsenal of
But throughout his career he never
abandoned his first love, the acoustic piano, on which his punctilious
touch and crisp sense of harmony made his playing immediately distinctive.
A number of his compositions, including
“Spain,” “500 Miles High” and “Tones for Joan’s Bones,” have become
jazz standards, all defined by his dreamy but brightly illuminated
harmonies and his ear-grabbing melodies.