Jazz and Blues

In a career stretching back well over two decades, pianist Chick Corea (above) has proved himself one of the most versatile and prolific of the modernists. He has tried Latin, he has done fusion - most notably with the all-star band Return to Forever - ventured into the land of the free and flirted with more structured, classical-type material. Earlier this year, he teamed up with a group of "friends" including veteran Roy Haynes and young turks Christian McBride and Joshua Redman for a tribute to the late bop pianist Bud Powell. But tonight he is at the Royal Festival Hall (0171-960 4242) as part of the JVC Jazz Festival, renewing a partnership with vibes man Gary Burton. The two performed together to some acclaim back in the late 1970s and the new album "Native Sense" (on Corea's own Stretch imprint) is certainly a pretty affair, with the majority of the record demonstrating that Corea's writing is as engaging as ever, while the inclusion of two Bartok pieces shows that he has not yet got over that particular longstanding fixation.

Saxophonist Bob Berg - who gained a certain fame as one of the few white musicians to play with Miles Davis - also has a new record out on Stretch. Though widely regarded as a fine mainstream player, his writing has not always impressed the critics. Perhaps understandably then, he has resorted to other people's work and - as the title, Another Standard suggests - come up with an album that shows him fooling around with such familiar material as "You and the night and the music", "My man's gone now" and the Beatles' "Michelle". Berg, who begins a week at Ronnie Scott's on Monday (0171-439 0747), is on good form, accompanied by a tidy rhythm section and on some numbers by trumpeter Randy Brecker and Mike Stern, a guitarist with whom he has recorded for years.

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