Chick Corea Elektric Band: Chick Corea (Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Eric Marienthal (soprano & alto saxophones); Frank Gambales (synthesizer, acoustic & electric guitars); John Patitucci (5- & 6-string electric basses); Dave Weckl (acoustic & electronic drums).
For their last record together, the Chick Corea Elektric Band returned to the funky backbeat style that dominated their LIGHT YEARS album in 1987. BENEATH THE MASK, however, portrays a much tighter, more seasoned ensemble that had spent many years touring together and performing extremely complex music from previous efforts. The group's sound had evolved, too, from heavily synthesized sounds in the mid '80s to a more natural vibe on MASK, with more acoustic instruments and Corea's more delicate synth tones.
The playing on this record is as astounding as always. The Weckl/Patitucci rhythm machine is in full gear on driving numbers like the opening title track and "One Of Us Is Over 40." Shades of the creative ensemble arrangements from EYE OF THE BEHOLDER appear on the dynamic "Lifescape" and the explosive "Charged Particles." Also, gentler works like "A Wave Goodbye" and "Free Step" offer a tasteful change of pace. MASK closed the book on Corea and his charges--a legendary unit that defined high-quality electric jazz in the digital era.