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).

Title: The Ultimate Adventure: You Can't Return to Forever | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Stretch Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Wish You Were Here" CD/LP/Track Review Wish You Were Here
by Jim Olin
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.