Mika Pohjola - piano
Children's Songs is a series of twenty compositions by jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea, here performed by pianist & composer Mika Pohjola in a recording from 2014.
Children's Songs mainly consists of short songs with simple themes. There is little development in the pieces, which capture a variety of melodies and moods. Corea began writing the first song in 1971.
In the preface of the annotated version Corea stated that he aimed "to convey simplicity as beauty, as represented in the Spirit of a child".
Corea, who cites Béla Bartók as a major influence, had, throughout his career, written brief miniatures he called "Children's Songs." In some ways, Corea's lyrical but nevertheless rich in structure "Children's Songs" were his versions of Bartók's Mikrokosmos series.
A slower version of No. 1 first appeared on Corea's classic 1972 debut with Burton, Crystal Silence, while a group version of the same song appeared on the Latin-era Return to Forever's 1973 Polydor release, Light as a Feather, and two more appeared in group readings on Friends (No. 5 and No. 15). The real revelations of Children's Songs begin, however, with the gentle No. 3, which, in fact, was Space Circus Part I on Corea's first high volume fusion disc, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, though that version combined electric and acoustic pianos together. Even more startling is the discovery that the propulsive No. 6 was, in fact, a core segment of Where Have I Known You Before's epic closer, Song of the Pharoah Kings. Even the impish No. 9 made its first appearance on The Leprechaun as Pixieland Rag, the stage-setter for another closing epic, Leprechaun's Dream, which represented a new high water mark for Corea's large ensemble writing at the time. Anyone who's seen Corea in performance and heard him speak knows that he's mischievous by nature; further evidence that the music we make is, by its very nature, a reflection of who we are.
Mika Pohjola (born 1971) is a Finnish-born jazz pianist and composer, who resided in New York City from 1995 to 2012. Currently he lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He is one of the most prolific Scandinavian jazz musicians in his generation. Pohjola has released more than thirty albums under his own name, most of them jazz, but also several large productions with Scandinavian themes. Pohjola is a Steinway Distinguished Artist since 1997, and a major visiting artist at Berklee College of Music since 2006.