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Return To Forever - No Mystery CD (album) cover

NO MYSTERY

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 193 ratings

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wbiphoto
4 stars (I will be seeing RTF at the Denver Paramount Theater on June 3, 2008 and felt compelled to review the three CDs featuring the classic lineup of Corea, Di Meola, Clark and White).

RTF's 1975 No Mystery was the band's second release with the Corea, Di Meola, Clark & White lineup. No Mystery is clearly much different than the lineup's first release( Where Have I Known You Before), displaying a much stronger leaning toward jazz-funk.This CD won the band a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance by a Group in 1975. Perhaps because of its catchy, funky grooves.

No Mystery epitomizes the jazz of the era: lots of wah wah on the guitars and crisp filter resonance on the synths. The first five songs bring back memories for me of classic 1970s American cop shows like Starsky & Hutch, The Streets of San Francisco and Baretta. For some of you that may be all you need to know to never give this record a try(LOL!). But the truth is that Miles Davis and many other great jazz musicians, as well as King Crimson, Yes and ELP, used tones on their records that have not aged very gracefully. It's just a gamble you take when using the latest and greatest effect and/or patch of the day when designing and orchestrating your music.

As for the positives....

The title track, Mystery, is an exceptional composition showcasing the interplay between Corea on piano and Di Meola on acoustic guitar. This combination proved to be one of RTF's strongest formulas and one used later to much success on the extraordinary Romantic Warrior. If anyone needs an example of Corea's genius, the title track would serve as solid proof.

The most progressive tracks by far are the Latin tinged Celebration Suite Part I and Part II. Long, complex pieces that should appeal to the die-hard progger.

This record falls a bit short of being a masterpiece due to the commercially friendly funk pieces, but gets an EASY FOUR STARS for its more progressive moments.

wbiphoto | 4/5 |

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