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Chick Corea’s “Spain” Jazz Song Essay


A brief historic background

Chick Corea was born in 1941 and his real name is Armando Anthony Corea. He is an America musician who specializes in Jazz genre and also plays the piano, and the keyboard. He is a well established and respected music writer especially in the jazz standards. One of his greatest achievements in his career was his contribution in the creation of the famous electric jazz fusion. Corea was a member of the Miles Davis band. He was very instrumental in the bands concerts and performances during its active years.

Corea adopted his passion for music and particularly jazz form his father who played the jazz trumpet was the leader of Boston based Dixieland Band. His love for jazz and his success in this field was due to the early exposure that he got as a child since he was surrounded by great influence in the jazz genre. The song Spain was last song in his album the “Light as a feather”. The song was inspired Joaquin Rodrigo’s concert and it was composed in 1971.

Song analysis

The song largely an instrumental song and it is a perfect fusion of jazz. This is typical of the jazz pianist and songwriter, Chick Corea. This piece is considered to be one of the most famous works that Corea has ever worked on in his career. While some people consider the song to be a classical a considerable number see it as a contemporary jazz fashion. The song was originally performed by Corea. He was playing the Rhodes electric piano while Airto Moreira was playing the drums. Others involved in the instrumentation included Flora Purim who did the vocals and percussion. Stanley Clerk who was played the bass guitar and Joe Farrell who played the flute were also in the band that played the original rendition.

The song has since been recorded by other musicians in different rendition although Corea also had a different rendition recorded. In a certain concert during his early days in his career, Corea performed the song with different artist from the east. He was a Japanese pianist popularly known as Hiromi Uehara. Several versions of the song including flamenco and bluegrass versions have been redone over the years. Immediately after the introduction, the song takes a different turn and plays quick and solid rhythm that resembles the samba feel. Just like the samba stylistic rhythms, the theme and the improvisation sections are repeated.

The songs harmony with respect to chord arrangement is different in some section. Its melody is entirely built with the D major and B minor boundaries as it can be clearly heard when playing the song. Due to the songs pace, one is able to notice the numerous changes of notes with the slow temple that allow you to hit the right notes at the right time without a struggle. The songs primary key is the D major but second is B minor which is basically found in the D scale.

However, getting the twist in the movement between the two is not very obvious when you listen to the song for the very first time. The texture of the song as noted earlier is a jazz feel with a very calm soothing effect that gives it an edge of a blue feel. The sings instrumentation is quite detailed with the movement of chords and noted in very complicated fashion.

Song feature that makes it an American song

One of the most notable characteristic that makes this song an American song is the tempo. The American classics have a characteristic slow paced tempo that is prominent in mostly the jazz and blue feels of the American musicals genres. In addition to this, the song involves a careful composition of chords and notes typical of the American music. Due to the early development of the music industry in America, American musicians are well endowed in music theory. This helps them to create musical sounds that observe the musical rules learned in theory.

This song is a perfect example of an American song considering the lyrical dynamics and he instrumentation of the entire song. Another feature that makes this song an American song it the use of several instruments that a typical to the American song instrumentation. The composition of a full band starting from piano, the bass, the drums and the flute is a general fill of an American song. The style of music that the songwriter has used is an American born genre. Jazz was born and developed in America. Therefore, this song being a jazz standard rendition, it can only be seen as an American song.

The composer has also used the American English which is slightly different from all other forms of English. The colloquial use of the word kick is normally found in the American language. In one of the lines, Corea says “Yesterday, I can say. I got a kick every time I see”. The song can only be described as an American song considering all these features that are normally found in American songs. However, the most striking feature is the genre used in the song.

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1. IvyPanda. "Chick Corea's "Spain" Jazz Song." August 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chick-coreas-spain-jazz-song/.


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IvyPanda. "Chick Corea's "Spain" Jazz Song." August 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chick-coreas-spain-jazz-song/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Chick Corea's "Spain" Jazz Song." August 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chick-coreas-spain-jazz-song/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Chick Corea's "Spain" Jazz Song'. 23 August.

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