Chick Corea – the Leprechaun
1976 – Polydor
The second side of this LP finishes with “Leprechaun’s Dream”, which is a 13 minute third stream masterpiece. I’ve loved Chick Corea for a really long time, there is something about his writing and playing that just gets to me. This one composition bundles up much of what I love about his catalogue. The musicians on here are great, with a rhythm section of Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, and Eddie Gomez, it would be hard to go wrong. Vocals, brass, and strings set this piece up in a playful way. It feels like an Alice in Wonderland type situation, a sort of demented dream world. The keyboard moves linearly through chords at a quick pace and then Steve Gadd kicks in….only he could play with the kind of feeling needed here. Joe Farrell jumps in with a great flute solo, which only hints at what is to come. The theme for the first part of this song is hypnotic, drifting in and out through different instruments and voices. When the strings hit again, the mood changes. It gets sort of frantic and intense. Gadd’s drumming is perfect (isn’t it always!) in that it is never too much. He sits out when needed and plays the perfect feel for everything. The two basses (electric and acoustic) offset each other perfectly. It is something I’ve never noticed on previous listens, but now that I hear it, it’s amazing and perfectly suited for this song. This whole tune is so intricate and well balanced. There is not much more to say about this except that if you haven’t heard it, you need to listen. It’s hard to imagine composing at this level. Chick Corea is a legend for a reason.