Solo Analysis: Chick Corea on “500 Miles High”

Old School.

Old School.

Don Glanden of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia created this interesting and informative video analysis of Chick Corea’s solo on “500 Miles High”.  This song is from the seminal recording Light As A Feather by Chick’s band Return to Forever.  Chick’s website is here.

Light As A Feather was recorded in 1972 and features legendary bassist Stanley Clarke on upright bass.  Clarke is mostly known for his electric bass playing, but his work on the acoustic bass with Return to Forever is outstanding.  His website is here.  Look for a Know Your Player on Stanley Clarke in the future.

Chick’s solo is a remarkable example of post bop melodic invention, and with its use of pentatonics, chromaticism, and polyrhythmic motion.  Glanden does a great job of breaking down the solo with interesting observations on its constituent parts followed by a full chorus by chorus analysis.  Check it out.

Melodic Analysis of Chick Corea’s Solo on “500 Miles High” by Don Glanden

“500 Miles High”  Original Recording