Armando's Rhumba

In Memory of Chick Corea

36" x 24"

Painted completely within Inkscape - April, 2021

Printed on soft 100% cotton, archival, paper

Chick Corea died in February, 2021. I first heard Chick Corea in a 1970 recording with Miles Davis' In a Silent Way.

(I still love that recording and recently downloaded a very high resolution version from HDTracks.)

I did not enjoy the music in Chick's next voyage with Return to Forever.

But I was experimenting with a Moog synthesizer and heard Chick play in My Spanish Heart. That completely changed my view of Chick. The record was played so many times it wore thin. I also had it on a cassette - and that broke. (I now have it in digital format.)

I wound up purchasing many records with Chick playing duets with Herbie Hancock, Gary Burton, and other connections.

This leads to Armando's Rhumba. I wanted to honor Chick Corea with a painting.

His music always made me feel good - it made one feel there was a joy in life.

{There is a nice 25 minute acoustic instrument version on YouTube recorded in 2019- click here to watch and listen}

On his recording My Spanish Heart, El Bozo part II, Chick configured his synthesizer to sound more like a calliope.

This led me to creating pipe like figures, which were transformed into tall cacti.

The music in Armando's Rhumba - has a unique rhythm as the main theme. I sketched the rhythm as 12 vertical lines, the cacti.

But then the vertical lines spoke to me as if they were live characters. Each developed its own personality. Sometimes I felt they were guiding me what to create and I was no longer in full control

In the 1970's version of My Spanish Heart, Chick played a combination of synthesizer and piano. The painting needed to have a classic piano combined with the wonderful 20th century synthesizer sounds.

I hope that the finished piece makes you smile.

And if you happen to listen to Chick Corea's Armando Rhythm in My Spanish Heart, you may hear what I tried to create.