Three Quartets

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Three Quartets
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1981
RecordedJanuary/February 1981 at Mad Hatter Studios Los Angeles, California
Genre Post-bop, jazz rock
Length39:03 (original album) / 61:03 (CD reissue)
Label Stretch Records
Producer Chick Corea
Chick Corea chronology
Live in Montreux
Three Quartets
Trio Music
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]

Three Quartets is a jazz album released in 1981 by American jazz pianist Chick Corea, in collaboration with saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Steve Gadd. All compositions are by Corea who wanted to create an album of quartets like the many string quartets of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionist periods, but with jazz instrumentation.


"Quartet No. 1" uses a 1-chord (G altered) solo vamp over a rock beat in 3/4, and a repeated theme that uses stacked fourths. The second track, "Quartet No. 2 (Part I)" is a ballad, dedicated to jazz pioneer Duke Ellington, incorporating many of the Western classical harmonies and tensions that Ellington used in much of his playing. "Quartet No. 2 (Part II)" is dedicated to jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane.

Track listing

All compositions by Chick Corea except as noted.

  1. "Quartet No. 1" – (10:16)
  2. "Quartet No. 3" – (9:41)
  3. "Quartet No. 2" - Part I (Dedicated to Duke Ellington)" – (7:09)
  4. "Quartet No. 2" - Part II (Dedicated to John Coltrane)" – (12:01)

The CD reissue contains several tracks that were recorded during the same sessions as the original album but not released at the time. These are:

  1. "Folk Song" – (5:51)
  2. "Hairy Canary" – (3:43)
  3. "Slippery When Wet" – (6:02)
  4. "Confirmation" (Charlie Parker) – (6:17)

Corea plays drums on "Confirmation" instead of Steve Gadd.


Chart performance

1981 Billboard 200 179 [3]
1981Billboard Jazz Albums17 [3]

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  1. Yanow, Scott. "Chick Corea - Three Quartets (1981) album review | AllMusic". Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  2. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide . USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. pp.  51. ISBN   0-394-72643-X.
  3. 1 2 "Chick Corea - Three Quartets (1981) | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 27 October 2013.