All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

232

Return to Forever: Return to Forever: The Anthology

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
In support of their 2008 reunion tour, Concord Records has released Return to Forever: The Anthology, a selective overview of the quartet's classic 'middle period.' Formed by principal composer/keyboardist Chick Corea, RTF included bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White and guitarists Bill Connors or Al DiMeola.

An alumnus of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), inspired by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, as well as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes, Corea recorded two RTF albums with Clarke (a former compatriot of Stan Getz' combo) that evinced strong Spanish and Brazilian influences. The Anthology documents the band's next phase, represented by the LPs Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (Polydor, 1973), Where Have I Known You Before (Polydor, 1974), No Mystery (Polydor, 1975) and Romantic Warrior (Columbia, 1976), when the sound veered towards prog-rock, funk and jazz fusion. (Corea's two final RTF projects are not included.) Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (featuring Connors) and Romantic Warrior are represented in their entirety here, along with choice tracks from Where Have I Known You Before and No Mystery.

Throughout, Corea's masterful compositional control is in evidence; the pyrotechnical soloing never overshadows the themes and directionality of each cut. His improvisations are a revelation, enhanced by a signature touch and the ability to find sounds on his keyboards that breathe life into the machines. Clarke raised the bar for bassists with these tracks, doubling the complicated up-tempo melodies note-for-note with guitar and keys, then rendering dazzling and inventive solos. White's style is a blend of Tony Williams and Buddy Miles, combining a feeling of free play with ferocious propulsion. The guitars are a marvel as well—Connors for his organic and expressive style, DiMeola for his speed, taste and finesse. The sound of RTF has aged well. If The Anthology is any indication, the upcoming live tour should be filed under "be-there."

Track Listing: CD1: Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy; After the Cosmic Rain; Captain Senor Mouse; Theme to the Mothership; Space Circus (Part I & II); The Game Maker; Vulcan Worlds; The Shadow of Lo; Return to the Seventh Galaxy; Song to the Pharoah Kings. CD2: Dayride; Sofistifunk; No Mystery; Celebration Suite Part I & II; Medieval Overture; Sorceress; The Romantic Warrior; Majestic Dance; The Magician; Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant Part I & II.

Personnel: Chick Corea: electric piano (CD1, CD2#1-4), Fender Rhodes (CD2#5-10), acoustic piano, organ (CD1#1-6), Yamaha organ (CD1#7-10, CD2), harpsichord (CD1#1-6), gongs (CD1#1-6), clavinet (CD1#7-10, CD2#1-4), Hohner clavinet (CD2#5-10), synthesizers (CD1#7-10, CD2#1-4), Mini Moog (CD2#5-10), ARP Odyssey (CD2#5-10), snare drum (CD2#1-4), marimba (CD2), vocal (CD2#1-4), Polymoog (CD2#5-10), percussion (CD2#5-10); Stanley Clarke: electric bass (CD1, CD2#1-4), fuzz, bass (CD1#1-6), bell-tree (CD1, CD2#5-10), hand bells (CD2#5-10)), Yamaha organ (CD1#7-10, CD2#1-4)), chimes (CD1#7-10), acoustic bass (CD2), synthesizer (CD2#1-4), vocal (CD2#1-4), Alembic bass with Instant Flanger (CD2#5-10), Piccolo bass (CD2#5-10); Bill Connors: electric guitar and acoustic guitars (CD1#1-6); Al Di Meola electric guitar (CD1#7-10, CD2), acoustic 12-string guitar (CD1#7-10), acoustic guitar (CD2), soprano guitar (CD2#5-10), hand bells (CD2#5-10), slide whistle (CD2#5-10); Lenny White: drums, percussion (CD1, CD2#1-4), congas, bongos (CD1), marimba (CD2#1-4), timpani (CD2#5-10), timbales (CD2#5-10), hand bells (CD2#5-10), snare drum (CD2#5-10), suspended cymbals (CD2#5-10), alarm clock (CD2#5-10).

Title: Return to Forever: The Anthology | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Falando Docemente" CD/LP/Track Review Falando Docemente
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Transatlantic" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Italy 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Italy 2016
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Slægt" CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by John Sharpe
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Food Foragers" CD/LP/Track Review Food Foragers
by Don Phipps
Published: March 13, 2018