Review Summary: A delightful performance covering several famous Jazz and Classical numbers on simply a piano and vibraphone.Hot House
is yet another collaboration between illustrious Jazz pianist and composer, Chick Corea, and renowned vibraphonist Gary Burton. The two have previously worked on featured duets like Crystal Silence
and its sequel, The New Crystal Silence
. Their musical style is composed under a mellifluent sound that coalesces their respective instruments to create soothing Jazz melodies. Hot House continues on a similar orchestral style, but instead focuses on covering songs by several artists such as Jazz pianists, Art Tatum, Bill Evans, Tadd Dameron, Thelonious Monk, to even The Beatles.
The album opens with Art Tatum’s “Can’t We Be Friends”
, though Hot House elaborates much more into the piece than that of the original. Chick Corea establishes a harmonic framework on piano, creating a delicate landscape for Gary Burton to explore his own solo work on vibraphone. The two compliment each other’s sounds so eloquently, taking turns ornamenting each other’s solos to exude a beautiful melodic delight. Gary Burton in particular truly shines on this piece, executing his solos with precise adroitness as he variates from gentle deliveries to deploying a more dynamic spontaneity with his movements. One of the more prominent highlights of the album is their rendition of “Eleanor Rigby”
by The Beatles. The elegance of the original translates beautifully on this reincarnation, but whereas the original aspires to induce a dreary setting in all of its lugubrious expressions, this piece, on the other hand, is much more spirited. The instrumentation is lively and extravagant, as the piano and vibraphone even mimic Paul McCartney’s vocals with an utterly dashing tone.
Chick Corea and Gary Burton are still an electrifying duo after all of these years. They adorn each other’s vibes so beautifully and with such dexterity that it will leave the listener breathless. “Hot House”
is prime example of their intuitive chemistry, with each musician eruptively deploying an exhilarating synergy. This song is perhaps the most exciting piece on the album, as we really see the two of them combine their solo melodies with such marvelous flare. Another notable piece is “Once I Loved”
, which initially has us dwelling into an alluring atmospheric haze before continuing into an exquisite, but soft bebop performance. The album finale, “Mozart Goes Dancing”
, is the only piece to feature external contributions as it incorporates a bowed string section to accompany Chick Corea and and Gary Burton. It’s a very exciting piece because it has us flowing through many different movements, each one expressing a different mood within its layered and complex arrangement. In the end, Hot House proves to be a host of some very enticing content. Covering several songs in a diverse spectrum of genres such as Bebop, Bossa nova, and early Swing music, while managing to recreate them into their own stylistic approach. One of the few blemishes of the album is that it only features two instrumental components for the most part, and relies too much on similar compositional aesthetics that leave very little variances between songs, but nevertheless, it is a highly entertaining effort from a talented duo of Jazz veterans.