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16
4.7 out of 5 stars
Romantic Warrior
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£48.65+£1.26shipping
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2006
I recently reacquired this little 70s jazz fusion gem to replace a battered old tape copy, and boy, was it worth it! All cleaned up and remastered, it sounds fresher and more dynamic than ever.
Firstly, it has to be said that these guys all possessed impecable Jazz credentials, and were numbered among the finest players on the planet in their day, in any musical genre, and the level of musicianship on this album remains staggering despite the intervening 30 years. Corea's considerable compositional and playing skills are well to the fore, as the group engages with and then masters all manner of rock styles, from prog thru psych to folk. Where the Mahavishnu Orch was more concerned with overwhelming power and spectacle, RTF were much more concerned with the music itself, and the tracks are all unfailingly melodic and inventive.
Whether on the fluid funk of "Sorceress", the prog inspired title track, the dark strangeness of "Magician", or the upbeat sparkle of "Majestic Dance", Corea's percussive piano runs and magical chord and tempo changes race alongside riffs and solos that fly from the fingers of Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola like incandescent cometary fragments, wild and crazy but always with an immaculate control so often lost on rock players. Lenny White's drumming is the strong, still centre of the maelstrom, so deft and exquisite as it holds the music in place that you barely notice it, until it jumps up and demands your appreciation as he drops in a sharp fill, or executes the time signature equivalent of a high speed hand-brake turn.
Such blazing, shameless, virtuoso playing, performed within such a disciplned, musically focused arena, is not to everyone's taste, and I've beem told before that I favour the too-many-notes school of musical overkill, but nonetheless this is one album I feel quite justified revelling in for its sheer exuberance.
A joy to rediscover, a relic from another age, a priceless musical artefact from a time when the music mattered, and nothing else. Luvvit!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2006
The real amount of fluidity from the music displayed here on this recording from those long forgoton days of the mid seventies by "Return to Forver" was their own abilty as young Jazz muscians to take on the intensity of rock and roll then they make something else from the direction of the flow of the music was going.
"Romantic Warrior" shows the ability to rise above the average of general recordings of the time the 1970's and display that Jazz muscians can rock while existing on the edge of spontaneous combustion that has always been the cutting edge which defines Jazz from what now is we tend to label as jazz.
Those days are gone but not forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2010
Even though this album was first released in the wonderfull musical years of the 1970s, I am young and have quite recently discovered this extraordinary music. The 70s was decade were jazz, rock and the experimantal new fusion with is huge mix of instruments, genres and styles flourished. Romantic Warrior is a highlight from the jazz super-band featuring heroes like Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White (on this album). It is an experimenting and a bit humoristic album, but they acchieve a remarkable and impressive atmosphere and sound that has had a major and important impact on jazz and music in general, that is this album by it self as much as all the players career in whole. These Gods have managed to put so many genres, styles, instruments and techniques in to this one album which through great coplaying and performance in general delivers six masterpieces that all are groundbraking. This album is a must-have for all musicians, jazz-lovers, prog-heads, fusionists, experimentists and all other musiclovers! Great!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2007
I reviewed this album separately as the work of 'Return To Forever' but have just noticed that Amazon has listed it under Chick Corea. The musicianship on this excellent album is outstanding. All 6 tracks are fabulous (two, including the title track, are over 10 minutes long) and the whole album is a great listening experience (the sound quality is superb). There is a magical mix of styles and a broad range of instruments used here - I found the whole album really impressive. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2012
Contrary to what Mahavishnu fans might say this stands as the zenith of 1970's jazz fusion. Fluid, cohesive and immaculately produced. I love the way Chick Corea's keyboards seem to float in the mix and the way the all-acoustic title track blends seamlessly with the rest of the album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
I rank this album as one of the great jazz-fusion records, along with Mahavishnu's Inner Mounting Flame and Al Di Meola's Land of the Midnight Sun. The interplay of the musicians is just staggering, with Chick Corea's keyboards at the heart of it all, underpined by Lenny White's very subtle and intricate drumming, then Stanley Clarke's driving base lines and of course Al Di Meola's spiralling guitar runs, both electric and acoustic.

The tracks are superb compositions, with melody and inspired playing from all the musicians, who really do sound totally committed to the music, which to me is what makes it so good an album. It is one that has stood the test of time - one of my favourites!
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on 4 August 2013
I was born in 1969, and grew up listening to my Dad's varied music collection, including stuff like Dylan, Thelonius Monk, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and all manner of other stuff. But jazz rock fusion really caught my attention as a kid aged 7-10 years old, with my favourite albums being 'Heavy Weather', 'Mr Gone' and 'Black Market' by Weather Report, 'Journey to Love' by Stanley Clarke and 'Romantic Warrior' by Return to Forever. The album cover of Romantic Warrior conjured up to me images of futuristic battles in far flung worlds, and the music was the perfect soundtrack.

I subsequently went on to get into electro, house, trance and techno, which dominated my musical tastes for about 15 years, but I still come back to these albums, which in my opinion never date. The level of musicianship on offer here is not of this earth. I put this on in my car and lose myself, reminiscing about my childhoood in the 70s, my favourite decade, and I try to imagine what it must have been like to be in the studio watching these gods at work. Truly inspiring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2011
I recently caught an Old Grey Whistle Test clip on Youtube of The Jester and The Tyrant, and then went and found my old LP. I tried recording via USB turntable, but it soon became clear that I really had worn this vinyl out. This is probably the best album ever recorded. Five stars is not enough, and 39.99 would be a justifiable price, this is inventive music at its best.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
My friend had this when I was 15 (30 years ago) on LP. He loved it - I bought it too. One of the great LP covers, summing up its title if a such a delightful piece of artwork ever could.

Playing again now, but from this remastered CD and via big, excellent Sennheiser 'phones, the lucid and fluid keyboards of Chick Corea simmer and hover over a thick rope of chunky bass, whilst beads of funk fusion interweave. Yes, the opening track Medieval Overture does have a Dave Grusin sort of flavour at times but that is a compliment indeed. On the second, Sorceress, Stanley Clark, on bass, really gurgitates the pulse.

The title track has a Yes/King Crimson-y sort of arrival then with Corea's keyboards ducking and diving about on a bed of compulsive drumming from Lenny White, building to a real crescendo.

Majestic Dance is an all electric affair, written and led by the 21 y.o. classical-jazz guitarist Al De Meola. It's quite rocky, too, getting a little progressive with some Mike Oldfield-like percussion and keyboard embellishments half-way through.

The Magician continues these sounds and themes with added synths that give an ethereal glow and quite an operatic, sci-fi feel.

Lastly, Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant is a culmination of all that's gone before but expanded upon.

The sound separation on all this album is wide, but balanced and not forced and so can be fully enjoyed on the old I-pod, whilst still giving any top hi-fi a real test - and a chance to shine. Bass is both deep and nuanced, allowing it to be followed note-by-note and the top end is bright and clear but never sibilant.

This is a genuinly standout album that is also a true landmark and not of just in the jazz-funk-fusion genre that it so reigns supreme in.
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on 3 April 2013
Return to Forever is were the Kings of Jazz Fusion, Romantic Warrior is one of the best Jazz Fusion album.
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