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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Return To Forever
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 October 2017
Very interesting and exciting music.
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on 5 October 2014
Fascinating album. The former members of Miles Davis band were spreading their wings & like little evolutionary tributaries were recording their own differing takes on the the times. Unlike Miles, the dark magus' usually dense & dark sounds, many of his former sidemen reflected the changes in music in an entirely positive sounding way & its the way they expressed it that's so interesting. Corea doesnt sound quite ready to dive completely into the "fusion" pool as such here, the sound is a lighter groove, sometimes latin tinged with Airto brilliantly driving the intense rhythms & the album is all the more refreshing & original because of this. To further reflect this optimistic period in music the Neville Potter lyrics are naively upbeat which will put some people off, this is partly due to his interest in Scientology but if you love your jazz & remain open you will see past these & bathe in the spirit of the time & the incredible performances when this pool of inspired musicians presented us with music & sounds that at the time, none of us had ever heard before.
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on 25 January 2010
I love this album, I just thought that I should get that out of the way first. It should be listened to along side Light As A Feather which is the other great album by this incarnation of Return to Forever. The key ingredients for this version of the band are Airto Morera Flora Purim, and Joe Farrell that is to say that they give the music the particular accent that differentiates it from the music of the later incarnations of the band. Stanley Carke;s bass playing is fantastic as ever but he remained in the band once guitar took over from the Sax & Flute of Joe Farrell and the Airto/Flora combination was no longer there. This and Light As A Feather represent one Return to Forever, the other Bill Connors/Al Demeola et al band is like an completely different band and the 1977 larger version of the band looks like it should have worked but certainly never did on record.

This is music that unfolds slowly but builds to stunningly beautiful peaks. This music can be frustrating for the uninitiated but once you get it you really get it. This album contains the number Crystal Silence which Corea has returned to on several recordings. This album comes to a brilliant close with the joyful La Fiesta which, again, Corea revisted, most notabley with Gary Burton.

It is also worth noting that this musical direction own a huge debt to Miles Davis., the time that Chick Corea spent in the Miles Davis band opened up a whole range of possibilities to him that came to their first fruition here.

You don't need to go as banal as Rage Against the Machine to find a real antidote to processed pop music,; this is music that purifies the soul.
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on 5 July 2001
This album has hardly left my CD player since I bought it - that was almost a month ago! This is a totally brilliant album that seems to have been quite overlooked. Corea's piano playing is sublime - he's got a very melodic style (rather like Keith Jarrett) and excellent improvisation skills. He reads the music and the other band members very well and the overall effect is of seamless playing by the the whole band. Having said that, Stan Clarke's bass is also excellent and the rest of the band really fits together.
I suppose this is classed as Jazz-rock but it's a million miles from say Bitch's Brew - far more structured and chilled out. Just buy it and make your own opinion up. Anyone with more than a passing interest in music of that style will appreciate it. I think it's great!
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on 8 March 2015
This is a beautiful album. I stumbled on it in London in the 70s, think the album cover was in Colletts (?), jazz music shop in New Oxford Street. I sampled it on headphones of the day and impressed so bought it on vinyl (no new fangled CDs!! ). Since giving up a deck and amp set up and stowing the vinyl, I missed listening to it until purchasing a fresh digital copy here.
It is crystal clear jazz, some of Chick Corea's more melodic output and some of the freshest. I personally don't think it is out of place today even if the keyboard sound is a trifle retro. I recommend listening to it in a darkened room with no distractions or ambient noises and let the bass, keyboard and Flora Purim's voice fill your ears. Enjoy.
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on 6 October 2012
Bought this on vinyl in about 1973 and loved it, probably my first ever "jazz" purchase.
Went to see Return to Forever in 74 - I'd missed the line-up change and the "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" release, so that night was a bit of a shock to say the least.

I grew to love the later band and the recent release of "The Mothership Returns" is a wonderful live album, but after a while I always find the need to go back to the lighter and more melodic approach of this album and "Light as a Feather".

It's a close call as both are brilliant, but for me this has the edge on "Light as a Feather", slightly looser and more experimental and with that unique sound of Chick's electric piano and latin rythms make it an absolute winner.
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on 12 April 2004
With great expectations I got this album. I'd never heard or read a bad review of it, I knew the musicians who'd played on it and loved most of their work. This was supposed to be an album that one couldn't help but love or admire. But its failed to ever really excite me.
There are interesting moments on the album, such as the climatic points of "Return to Forever", but the music also has a sickly sweet character to it. While this album is supposed to be making waves, the sound often masks what the musicians are actually doing in terms of breaking new ground. This is particularly shown in the 'Playful' "What game shall we play today". Perhaps I'm more of a fan of the harsh sounds that other fusion bands create like in Weather Reports "Mysterious Traveller", but the sounds in this album seem very plain.
Technically the album holds much weight as is to be expected, the songs are well crafted and the music itself is by no means bad. But, be warned, the album was not what I expected and as a result I continue to be dissappointed.
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on 23 March 2015
This is a classic album with superb musicianship. Jazz fusion with a Latin vibe and very laid back in places especially crystal silence.
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on 7 November 2014
This is a great recording. If you're in for Mr Corea you must have this one in your collection.
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on 24 August 2015
Fantastic album. Wish ECM did a remaster.
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