23

Chick Corea: The Ultimate Adventure: You Can't Return to Forever

Marc Davis By

Sign in to view read count
Chick Corea: The Ultimate Adventure: You Can't Return to Forever The Beatles are gone. I know that. But I keep thinking if I buy just one more Paul McCartney CD, maybe the old magic will return.

Maybe. But it never does.

Paul McCartney is like that. You know how great he was with the Beatles. You even know how great some of his solo records were. And even though you know he'll never write another "Band on the Run," and surely he'll never write another "Sgt. Pepper," you keep hoping.

Chick Corea does that to me, too.

I came to jazz through Chick Corea—through the back door. I discovered jazz indirectly. It began with the rock bands Chicago and Emerson Lake & Palmer. With Chicago, it was the horn section. With ELP, it was the synths. ELP led directly to Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock and, yes, I confess, even "Switched on Bach."

So I discovered "Return to Forever" and "My Spanish Heart" and "Light as a Feather." That led me to acoustic Chick, including one of my very favorite jazz records, his two-piano duets with Herbie Hancock. Not only is it great music, but it reminds me of a very happy time in my life. Just like Paul and the Fabs.

But then years passed. Chick Corea put out more albums. Some were good, some were so-so, but none seemed as good to my ears as the Chick Corea of old.

Then a few years ago I heard on the radio cuts from a new Chick Corea album, "The Ultimate Adventure." It sounded just like old Return to Forever! The magic was back! I had to have it! So I bought it. And now, after years of repeated listening, I have to admit: It's good, but not classic.

There are moments. Complex rhythms. Flightly flutes. Middle Eastern motifs. Latin tinges. Both piano AND synths. But no memorable melodies. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help comparing it to 1970s Chick. And while I enjoy it, it's not the same. Maybe it's unfair to think it would be.

So it's OK to enjoy a new Paul McCartney CD now and then, but I never fool myself into thinking the next one will be "Rubber Soul." Unfortunately, I did fool myself for a little while about "The Ultimate Adventure." It's good. I like it in small doses. But Thomas Wolfe was right. You can can't go home again. You can never Return to Forever.

Track Listing: Three Ghouls Part 1; Three Ghouls Part 2; Three Ghouls Part 3; CIty of Brass; Queen Tedmur; El Stephen; King & Queen; Moseb the Executioner Part 1; Moseb the Executioner Part 2; Moseb the Executioner Part 3; North Africa; Flight from Karoof; Planes of Existence Part 1; Arabian Nights; Gods & Devils; Planes of Existence Part 2.

Personnel: Chick Corea: piano, fender rhodes, synthesizers, acoustic and electronic percussion, palmas; Steve Gadd: drums, palmas (1- 3,6,7,13,14); Airto Moreira: percussion, voice (1-3,9-12); Carles Benavent: bass, palmas; Hubert Laws: flute (1-3,5); Hossam Ramzy: percussion (4,13,14); Jorge Pardo: flute, palmas, saxophone (4,6- 15,18,19); Vinnie Colaiuta: drums (5,9-12,16,17); Tim Garland: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone (5,9-11); Rubem Dantas: percussion, palmas (5,8-12,15-19); Tom Brechtlein: drums, palmas (8-11,15,19); Frank Gambale: acoustic guitar (16,17).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Stretch Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "A Curious Feeling" CD/LP/Track Review A Curious Feeling
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Tilt" CD/LP/Track Review Tilt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Istanbul Underground" CD/LP/Track Review Istanbul Underground
by James Nadal
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "The Complete Syllables Music" CD/LP/Track Review The Complete Syllables Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 15, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!