Fender Rhodes - Devil's Sweet

This live video, Arie Crown Theater from Nov. '72, is a great chance to see Robert up close on the Fender Rhodes. Robert and Terry together are backing up Walt's soprano solo. So neat! This is many months, or even up to one year, before they recorded it for VII. So material from VII was in the setlists before VI had been recorded. 

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  • Thanks Stephanie,

    I love those deep bass notes Robert does on the deep end of the Fender Rhodes, juxtaposed with those nicely "clotted" chords at mid range.  His subsequent playing is well nigh impeccable in my book.  Also, for some reason, I like what the brass are doing here better than the recording.  Are they varying it here?  Walt's soprano sax playing is accomplished, though I'm not a fan of those type of jazz solos that are pyrotechnically all over the map (I prefer more studied improvisation that is tactical and integrates pauses and silence)  Seraphine here is as good as Buddy Rich, in my opinion.

    • The brass is pretty close here to what they recorded, and I know I would have been floored to see Walt playing in a style that is reminiscent of John Coltrane. This was his debut on Soprano, and they were doing material from VI and VII before those records were recorded, so I think this might have come before Just You N Me, or about the same time. To have this type of improvisational and progressive material played live put Chicago in a rare class.  

      It shatters my heart into a thousand pieces that the audiences rejected it, and Robert's interview on the full film should be more revealing than the edit by CNN. He was heartbroken over this chapter in history, and we can see what fun they all had playing this. Aire is another favorite of mine. Terry stopped talking to the audiences about this time too, maybe he wanted to yell at them to pay attention but his good sense stopped him, so he just didn't say anything. Lee and Jimmy should have had the opportunity to play more solos too.

  • In their "Live at Guitar Center" show from last year, RL mentioned how he is not a strong technical keyboardist.  I have noticed that over the years his keyboard playing has diminished to the point where on even some of his solo stuff, there are others playing keyboards/piano.

    I watch a video such as this, or his Hammond playing on other videos through his playing the Steinway in the late 70's and early 80's, and I am blown away by how good he is.  

    During the "Champlin Years", Champlin seemed to take over most if not all of the organ playing, and much of the keyboards and I just don't know why?  I watch and listen to a video of Champlin vs. RL and RL wins hands down.

    I realize, that when you figure, 200 shows a year, plus practice for 50 years, maybe he wants to take a break, but honestly, RL has been a kick a#$ keyboardist, and I am sure he still is.

    I would love to see him live, playing like he used to, one more time.  Of course he would have to set his humility aside for that, but man, he was unbelievable.  

    • Franc, do you like Ramsey Lewis? I just found this record, with Maurice White on drums and Cleveland Eaton on bass. I find their understated elegance very beautiful. The highlight of this record for me is their suite of soundtrack music to the movie The Black Orpheus. It's a gorgeous movie, and Jobim wrote some of it.


  • One of David Foster's favourite songs! On top of their game.

    • Cool, lol! I like Foster. His interview was great. 

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