Return To Forever - The Anthology


Release date: May 27th 2008

Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes

The Anthology cover

The growth of interest in fusion (which increasingly dominates the jazz charts) is being further fuelled by the reformation of "Return To Forever" around a sell out 2008 world tour. The band (Chick Corea (keyboards), Al Di Meola (guitar), Stanley Clarke (bass) and Lenny White (drums)) were one of the five main offshoots of Miles Davis’ electric music of the late ‘60s ("Lifetime", "Headhunters", "Mahavishnu Orchestra," "Weather Report", "Return To Forever") that took the music to a wide audience at a time when Miles himself withdrew from playing.

The 2-CD album features remixed and remastered tracks from four of the band's albums, recorded in the period 1973 - 1976: "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy", "Where Have I Known You Before", "No Mystery" and "Romantic Warrior". The 20 tracks on "The Anthology" are selected more or less equally from the four studio albums.

The selection shows the transition in musical approach over this period. "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" (which features Bill Connors on guitar rather than Al Di Meola) is very much jazz inspired by the rock heartbeat of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. The introduction of Al Di Meola on "Where Have I Known You Before" and subsequent albums introduces bite to the guitar slot and allows Stanley Clarke's funk sensibility to come through, as announced by the emblematic "Vulcan Worlds". At the same time Chick Corea's romanticism and lyricism is beginning to find an accommodation with the funk and rock underpinnings so that at the high points of "No Mystery" and "Romantic Warrior" the originality of RTF's take on fusion is fully formed.

This is an excellent introduction to the music of RTF and a great foretaste of what to expect in concert.

Listen to streaming audio of the full track "Dayride" here.

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David Sanchez - Cultural Survival

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