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TWO FOR THE SHOW

Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea were made for each other. Both, for instance, have been major pioneers in modern jazz. The first jazz singer to give entire concerts (and make entire records) alone was the extraordinary McFerrin (it's not for nothing that his voice is considered the equivalent of an unusually expressive electronic synthesizer). And the first jazz pianist since Art Tatum and Earl Hines to make a huge impact with a solo recording wasn't Keith Jarrett, in his big-selling hypnotic pianistic filibusters of the '70s, but Jarrett's label mate at the time, Chick Corea. The biggest thing Corea and McFerrin have in common, though, isn't musical trailblazing or virtuosity but a giddy streak of impromptu pixilated fantasy. Part of them always seems solidly rooted in jazz; another part always seems to be coming from Oz on the L. Frank Baum Express. Duets can be, in some ways, the most revealing of jazz forms; musicians in collaboration sometimes reveal more about themselves playing off one other person than they ever do alone. The McFerrin-Corea duo, then, is one of jazz's more inspired pairings in a long time. It comes to the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater tonight at 8:15. -- Jeff Simon

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