I Don't Like the Vibes

The Chick Corea concert was enjoyable. He is a fantastic pianist and, fortunately for me, the experimental bent he's known for didn't show up last night, so I didn't feel dumb trying to enjoy something I didn't understand.

Unfortunately for me, his partner, Gary Burton did show up. It's not that Mr. Burton didn't play well. He got several standing ovations, so I'm sure he did. It's that I think the vibraphone sounds like it should only be used for cartoons. For the first few songs, it didn't bother me, then the monotony of the sound starting rubbing me the wrong way. Jordan said the same thing at intermission, but by the end of the performance he'd grown to appreciate them again...lucky Jordan.

Mr. Burton, if you read this: It's not you...it's me.

When we walked over, I thought I might be under-dressed, but then Chick came out on stage in a pair of baggy jeans, a greyish t-shirt, a large, flannel, short-sleeved button down and what appeared to be sock feet, but later proved to be boat shoes. In his introductory comments to the show he told us to use our cell phones if we wanted and to take as many pictures with flash as we pleased, contradicting the recorded message played moments earlier.

My favorite pieces were Native Sense, played in the first half of the program, and Tango of 1992, played in the second. Native Sense had a fabulous piano part that consisted of lots of banging and bass notes. Tango of 1992 was playful. Every now and then you could pick up the traditional tango tune that always makes me think of a lady in a tight dress with a long-stemmed rose in her mouth and an up-do.

I think I'm developing my mother's inability to sit through movies, concerts, or anything that lasts more than an hour, though. At intermission, I was ready to go; not because I wasn't enjoying the music, but because I kept thinking of other things that needed to be done. Of course, we didn't leave and our patience was rewarded when they played a song based on Cruella Devil as one of their three encores.

I would give the show a B+. Chick gets an A, Gary gets a B- for choosing a noisy instrument. A plain old jazz piano in a crowded bar would have pleased me better, but it was fun nonetheless.
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