Romantic Warrior – Return to Forever

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Romantic Warrior, by Return to Forever

  • Sixth studio album released in 1976 by the jazz fusion band Return to Forever.
  • The members of Return to Forever have changed over the years from 1972 to today. For this album, the members were Chick Corea on keyboards, Al DiMeola on guitar, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums. All but DiMeola continue to play with the group today. All are considered elite in jazz artistry. Corea is the pre-eminent keyboardist in jazz – he has won 22 Grammy awards. DiMeola has won 1 Grammy award, and was named Best Jazz Guitarist by Guitar World magazine in 5 consecutive years from 1977 to 1981. Clarke has won 3 Grammy awards and was named Best Bassist by Playboy magazine for 10 consecutive years. White has been playing jazz drums since 1968, and has won 3 Grammy awards.
  • All 4 artists contributed songs to the album. For an obscure, avant-garde record, it surprisingly made it to #35 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and to #3 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
  • In the latter 70s, as I continued my interest in expanding to different styles of music (see my April 19 post about The Chieftains), I randomly took a chance on this instrumental jazz fusion album. I had heard of keyboardist Chick Corea, and when I saw that he was in the band, I tried it. Today, it is one of my favorite albums.
  • The first song on the album – my first exposure to the group – is an amazing Chick Corea piece, called Medieval Overture. I listened to it once, and then had to listen to it again and again. Here is a live version of the band playing this unique song – watch Clarke’s amazing bass guitar work, and the awesome sounds created by Corea long before computers were used to create music.

 

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