Chick Corea (p, keyb), Al di Meola (g), Stanley Clarke (b), Lenny White (d)
Three great albums on five CDs, the most complete package to date of Return to Forevers Columbia albums. All come in nice mini-LP replica sleeves reproducing original cover art & back liner notes, plus a complete reproduction of the original 12 page booklet from the RTF Live box. Also includes a comprenhensive booklet with full discographical details, rare in-studio photos and liner notes by Grammy-winning box producer Bob Belden.
Pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Chick Corea (born in 1941) flaunts his eclectic musical nature like a badge of honor. Moving fluidly within the realms of jazz, classical, fusion and Latin-Jazz, Coreas stylistic identity cannot be pinned down; his musical personality is defined only by the consistent excellence of his multifarious endeavors. Fifty years into his career, Corea is unquestionably a jazz icon, beloved by devoted listeners, and as influential with fellow musicians, as he has ever been.
After important early experience with both Latin music bands and jazz ensembles, including those of Mongo Santamaria, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea gained significantly wider recognition when he replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Daviss acclaimed quintet in 1968. His work with Davis and his own recordings, including the brilliant Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, positioned Corea as one of the premier post bop pianists of his generation. Yet his eclecticism was about to blossom. After delving into free jazz with the band Circle, Corea turned to the electric piano and formed Return to Forever, which in its original incarnation, took Latin jazz as its focus. Return to Forever would then quickly morph into a highly successful fusion band, one that found Corea making extensive use of synthesizers and electronic keyboards.
From the mid-1970s onwards, the musically peripatetic Corea has formed new ensembles both acoustic and electric collaborated with a dizzyingly diverse cast of prominent musicians (Gary Burton, Bobby McFerrin, and Bela Fleck, among them), composed works that range from classical extravaganzas to childrens songs, and has continued to exert wide influence as an adventurous improvising pianist who is nonetheless thoroughly grounded in the jazz tradition. Recent tours with John McLaughlin and a reunited Return to Forever proved that Coreas popular esteem is rock solid.
· Includes "Romantic Warrior," RTFs best-selling album, with the classic line up of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola and Lenny White.
· "Musicmagic" adds a horn section to RTF for the first time and also features vocals.
· The ultimate RTF statement was the 1977 4-LP box "Return To Forever Live". This version is the first time that the entire concert has been released on CD in the U.S. Unavailable for some 20 years the complete 2 and 1/2 hour concert is heard here remastered by multi Grammy-winning engineer Mark Wilder.
CD 1 - Romantic Warrior (PC34076) 1976
CD 2 - Musicmagic (PC34682) 1977
CD 3,4 & 5 - RTF Live [3 CDs] (C4X35350) 1977
01. Medieval Overture 5:13
02. Sorceress 7:33
03. The Romantic Warrior 10:51
04. Majestic Dance 5:00
05. The Magician 5:28
06. Duel of the Jester & the Tyrant
[Parts 1 & 2] 11:26
01. The Musician 7:11
02. Hello Again 3:49
03. Musicmagic 11:00
04. So Long Mickey Mouse 6:09
05. Do You Ever 3:59
06. The Endless Night 9:40
01. Opening '77 7:09
02. The Endless Night 20:30
03. Chick Corea:
Spoken Intro of the Musicians 3:43
04. The Musician 14:04
01. Stanley Clarke: Spoken Intro to
Hello Again / So Long Mickey Mouse 1:38
02. Hello Again 6:02
03. So Long Mickey Mouse 10:53
04. Musicmagic 27:25
01. Come Rain or Come Shine / Fine and Dandy 3:55
02. Stanley Clarke: Spoken Intro to Serenade 0:58
03. Serenade 13:56
04. Chick Corea: Spoken Intro to
the Moorish Warrior and Spanish Princess 1:05
05. The Moorish Warrior and Spanish Princess 18:16
06. Stanley Clarke: Spoken Intro to
Chick Corea's Piano Solo 2:01
07. Chick's Piano Solo 14:39
08. Spanish Fantasy 11:21
09. On Green Dolphin Street 9:30
"This chapter in the Complete Columbia Albums series showcases the end of Return to Forever's initial run that had begun on Polydor with a very different band. The best-known line-up -- Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and guitarist Al di Meola -- appears only on the first album in this set, the iconic 1975 session Romantic Warrior, which was issued in 1976 (the rest of their recordings together are all on Polydor). According to many, it is the apotheosis and end of jazz-rock fusion proper. The lackluster Musicmagic was issued in 1977 with only Corea and Clarke remaining in the lineup -- though saxophonist and flutist Joe Farrell had returned from the band's earliest incarnation in the early '70s. The last three discs in this collection are made up of Return to Forever's Live: The Complete Concert, with the same basic lineup as Musicmagic. This live album had a checkered release history in the United States. It initially appeared as a single LP simply called Live -- single because it had been edited down from the two-and-a-half-hour concert. Two years later, in 1979, it was issued as a four-album set, unedited. On compact disc, it first appeared as a two-disc set that deleted all of the spoken intros and dialogue, and featured the LP-edited versions of "The Musician" and "So Long Mickey Mouse." In Japan, the complete concert was released as a triple-disc set, and it is that version which appears here. For this reason alone, it may be worth the entire purchase price for Return to Forever's America and European fans who didn't set out the big money for the Japanese version."
Thom Jurek -All Music Guide