Upon hearing the opening track "Dayride" I recognised the distinctive Return to Forever sound.The first album for Al DiMeola(the Guitarist) and the first album for Chick Corea to start using Synthersisers.The Album is covered with Chick's Latin approach fused with the thunderous Percussion of Lenny White, the Funk Bass playing of Stanley Clarke and the Rock style of Al DiMeola."Jungle Waterfall" has a beautiful guitar melody running through it. ."Flight of the Newborn" is DiMeola's offering. It is a loosely based Jam riding on the top of a Funk Groove."Sofistifunk" is typical of Lenny White's compositions with a great Groove and backbeat for the rest of the band to play on top of. "Excerpt from the 1st movement of Heavy Metal" starts with Corea playing an instantly recognisable Piano style. This gives way to a Heavy Metal approach by the band only to finish with the same way it started ."No Mystery" the title track is a brilliantly crafted Piece by Corea and features some brilliant Piano playing. "Interplay" is a vehicle for the Piano and String Bass of Clarke's.This piece is very "Chick Corea" latin influenced."Celebration suite part 1 and 2" has a spanish theme(I now know where Colliseum II got their style from)and completes an album which is in my mind the closest thing to "Romantic Warrior". If you've not heard this album, buy it now. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
11 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
This incarnation of Return to Forever (1975) was quite different to the one featuring Bill Connors on guitar on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973). He managed to find a nervous, if not neurotic, and edgy sound on the electric guitar probably modelled on MacLaughin's sound on Inner Mounting Flame. Al Dimeola brings a completely different, more polished presence to this record, in terms of the tone of the electric guitar and its meshing with a much more funk oriented rhythm section of Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. I always thought this album was like jazz rock in the disco: there's an overt physical, sensual energy about the music rather than the much headier Seventh Galaxy. Side one is just about all funk, with occasional leanings to heavier rock influences. For me the album hits the spot at the beginning of what was side two on the lp: the title track sees some beautiful and typical Corea, latin influenced acoustic piano and guitar interchanges with double bass; more in line with the earliest incarnation of Return to Forever on ECM (a great record). There's no doubt this album shows the shifting emphasis in the mid seventies: even Mclaughlin was doing funk tunes on Visions of the Emerald Beyond and Inner Worlds, and George Duke's albums (Feel, Faces in Reflection etc) from that time were completely fantastic too (now no longer available). I can leave side one alone these days, but side two still captivates me. It is much more similar to Romantic Warrior, with fluctuating moods and textures, especially on various keyboards, and has a wonderfully positive, if not ecstatic mood. Plus, it's a very summery record, full of sun and life.
6 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?