Wednesday, June 08, 2011
The above clip has become somewhat of an obsession for myself and a couple of friends. Believe it or not, but I actually watched it last Monday morning at work, at about five past nine - for possibly the 20th time - just to put a smile on my face. It put a skip in my step and made me start the week with a bang. The band itself is apparently the GRP All Stars - a group of musicians linked up to lightweight fusionoid MOR dude, Dave Grusin - though if my knowledge of lightweight fusionoid nonsense is correct, and it was hardened and sharpened through years of music retail experience, it's actually the line-up for Chick Corea's Elektric Band... Wait a second, do you fucking care??!! Maybe they're one and the same, but what you need to be aware of before watching the clip in question is the horrific audio/visual nature of it. Visually, you have smug nods from each band member as they trade leads (note the interplay between Corea and guitarist Frank Gambale at 1:25: you will shudder), as well as rampant goosenecking as they "hit the groove", but you also get lots of garish shirts, loose-fitting sweat pants, '80s haircuts and a sickly, constant pelvic thrust from bassist John Pattituci. Musically, I could only describe it as being a cross between the Seinfeld theme song and the kind of tune you'd hear in a corporate instructional video (I sat through one once when I landed a job at Borders in '99). The band itself, possibly only because of Corea's background, is nominally known as one practising in the field of "jazz fusion", though what relation it bears to jazz remains a mystery to me. Corea recorded some great stuff w/ Miles in the late '60s before quitting in 1970 to form Circle w/ Anthony Braxton, drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Dave Holland. They released an excellent double LP of free blowouts on ECM in '71 then called it quits. He then went on to form Return To Forever and unfortunately never returned. I read once that Corea quit Miles' band because he thought they were going "commercial". I guess this mirrors, in some ways, the career of one Eric Clapton: he quit the Yardbirds because he thought they were too "pop", released a few OK-ish things w/ Cream (I'm not much of a fan) and then proceeded to record and play complete and total dross for the next 40 years, making his earlier claims of musical purity rather spurious. Got me? I can only assume that Corea completely lost his goddamn mind to be this far gone (the clip's from the late '80s), though I don't think he's recovered. Corea's musical career is of no real interest whatsoever, though you might find this clip amusing, for all the wrong reasons.