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Return To Forever - Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy CD (album) cover

HYMN OF THE SEVENTH GALAXY

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.16 | 284 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars What a drastic change in sound for Return to Forever. Light as a Feather found the group as a Brazilian type of jazz band, with Flora Purim and Airto Moreira. The Bossa Nova influence on that album is hard to escape, you expect Flora Purim to break into "The Girl From Impanema" at any time. The album is stuffed full of great electric piano solos from Chick Corea himself an fantastic stand up bass playing from Stanley Clarke. Wonderful album, but had RTF stopped there, there would be little reason for RTF to be included here. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy featured an overhaul in the lineup. Corea and Clarke still present, with newcomers Lenny White and Bill Connors. There was a transitional lineup that started recording this album but then were partially redone with the stabilized lineup. Gone are the Brazilian/Bossa Nova influences and instead they became the established fusion band that they're most remembered for. Chick Corea admitted being inspired by John McLaughlin around this time, so it should come as no surprise that Hymn of the Seven Galaxy is very much in Mahavishnu territory. Bill Connors doing that similar lightening fast guitar playing, Lenny White playing with that same ferocity of Billy Cobham, and of course Stanley Clarke with his similarly fast bass playing. "Captain Senor Mouse" has a bit of that Latin influences, but even here it's still fusion overdrive. "Space Circus" has a funky feel to it, but for the most part this album is full of break-neck fast playing which will either blow you away or you feel it's just technical showoffmanship. I'm with the former, though. Because of the obvious Mahavishnu comparison, it's that reason Bill Connors quickly left, he felt it was a bit too close to Mahavishnu territory for his liking, or at least he felt the band shouldn't have tried riding the coattails of another band, so he was quickly replaced by Al DiMeola, their most recognized guitarist. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy makes no bones about who they are: no longer a Brazilian jazz band, but a full-on fusion band, and this is an album I highly recommend for fans of the genre.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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