Just 10 seconds of music tells you so much about this trio. They come after Chick Corea’s solo piano introduction to How Deep Is the Ocean, whereupon, rather than making a bold entrance, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade merely insinuate themselves. This fluidity defines a band so startling in its interplay as to fill the gap created by the demise of that other jazz standards supergroup: Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette. Corea’s band is that good – even surpassing his trio with Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes. Really.
They play standards and Corea’s own timeless compositions (including an electrifying La Fiesta) with the exuberance and elan of three small children who, through some sorcery, have become virtuoso musicians. At his very best, as he is here, Corea combines elfin wonder with willowy elegance. Add McBride, and suddenly these qualities are earthed by one who could make a nursery rhyme sound profound or a requiem playful. Then there’s Blade: the joker with an instinct for the least predictable option in any given instant, and whose finesse ensures McBride’s improbable virtuosity is never obscured.