Spain – Chick Corea (Piano solo arr.) with sheet music
“Spain” was composed in 1971 and appeared in its original (and most well-known) rendition on the album Light as a Feather, with performances by Corea (Rhodes electric piano), Airto Moreira (drums), Flora Purim (vocals and percussion), Stanley Clarke (bass), and Joe Farrell (flute).
It has been recorded in several versions, by Corea himself as well as by other artists, including a flamenco version by Paco de Lucía, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin in the 1980s, and a progressive bluegrass version by Béla Fleck in 1979. A version with lyrics by Al Jarreau, “Spain (I Can Recall)”, appeared on the 1980 album This Time. More recently, Corea has performed his composition as a duo with Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara. A version of “Spain” was performed by Stevie Wonder at his 2008 Concert in London. The introduction used in the song is from Concierto de Aranjuez, a guitar concerto by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo.
The Light as a Feather version of “Spain” received two Grammy nominations, for Best Instrumental Arrangement and for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Group. In 2001, Corea was awarded the Best Instrumental Arrangement Grammy for “Spain for Sextet and Orchestra”.
Corea opens the Light as a Feather version of “Spain” with the adagio from Joaquin Rodrigo‘s Concierto de Aranjuez. After the intro, the song switches to a fast, steady samba-like rhythm, in which the main theme and an improvisation part are repeated.
The chord progression used during the improvisation part is based on harmonic progressions in Rodrigo’s concerto. It runs as follows:
| Gmaj7 | F#7 | Em7 A7 | Dmaj7 (Gmaj7) | C#7 F#7 | Bm B7 |
Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea
(June 12, 1941 – February 9, 2021) was an American jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader, and occasional percussionist. His compositions “Spain“, “500 Miles High“, “La Fiesta”, “Armando’s Rhumba” and “Windows” are widely considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis‘s band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed Return to Forever Along with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, he is considered one of the foremost jazz pianists of the post-John Coltrane era.
Corea continued to collaborate frequently while exploring different musical styles throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He won 23 Grammy Awards and was nominated over 60 times.
Corea married his second wife vocalist/pianist Gayle Moran in 1972. He had two children, Thaddeus and Liana, with his first wife; his first marriage ended in divorce.
I came into contact with L. Ron Hubbard’s material in 1968 with Dianetics and it kind of opened my mind up and it got me into seeing that my potential for communication was a lot greater than I thought it was.
Corea said that Scientology became a profound influence on his musical direction in the early 1970s: “I no longer wanted to satisfy myself. I really want to connect with the world and make my music mean something to people.”
Corea was excluded from a concert during the 1993 World Championships in Athletics in Stuttgart, Germany. The concert’s organizers excluded Corea after the state government of Baden-Württemberg had announced it would review its subsidies for events featuring avowed members of Scientology. After Corea’s complaint against this policy before the administrative court was unsuccessful in 1996, members of the United States Congress, in a letter to the German government, denounced the ban as a violation of Corea’s human rights. Corea was not banned from performing in Germany, however, and had several appearances at the government-supported International Jazz Festival in Burghausen, where he was awarded a plaque in Burghausen’s “Street of Fame” in 2011.