When I first came across the album ‘Now He Sings, Now He Sobs’, it made me wonder how it came to be titled. My best guess (and surely this is not an orginal thought), is that it’s derived from a saying out of the I-Ching. If any of you have performed the ritual of posing a question then tossing three coins, you will be familiar with this practice. The hexagram consists of either a straight line or a divided line (or two dashed lines), and there are six lines from top to bottom. When the third line from the top is dashed, one reads the following: “He finds a comrade. Now he beats the drum, now he stops. Now he sobs, now he sings.” The album as well as a featured track is called, ‘Now He Sings – Now He Sobs’ along with another track titled ‘Now He Beats the Drum – Now He Stops’.
Suzanne Davis, assistant professor of piano at Berklee College of Music listed Chuck Corea’s album ‘Now He Sings, Now He Sobs’ as one of the top five jazz albums she would take to a desert island. This album became a favorite particularly for jazz lovers during the latter 60’s. It was a breakthrough album for Corea, establishing him as a significant composer and pianist. It features Miroslav Vitous on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums.
If we were to go back in time just prior to the album’s creation, we would find Miroslav in New York in 1968. He was staying with a bass player friend by the name of Walter Booker. Miroslav thought Booker was “a very beautiful person” for giving him a place to stay. Miroslav was just out of Berklee and had come from Boston to New York. One of Walter Booker’s friends was Chick Corea, who used to visit and jam in the apartment. Corea sensed some good musical vibes happening, which led to Miroslav getting a call to help out on the record.
Listen to the ‘Matrix’ snippet (58 sec. sample), and you will get a glimpse into the vibrant piano playing of this classic piece. But if you listen carefully, you can appreciate the piece’s wonderful texturing with Miroslav equally expressive bass work, and Haynes precision snare and cymbal grooves.
The remastered and newly remixed 24-bit CD has 8 extra tracks on (five of which were on the original).
- Steps – What Was
- Now He Sings – Now He Sobs
- Now He Beats the Drum – Now He Stops
- The Law of Falling and Catching Up
- Samba Yantra
- I Don’t Know
- My One and Only Love