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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

4.17 | 216 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Return to Forever's 1st Jazz Rock Hymn

By 1973 Return to Forever finally hired a guitarist and got rid of the saxophone (and vocalist), so this is what Chick calls Return to Forever's first "electric" album. After two pleasant latin jazz albums, Chick & Co decided to experiment with the surgence of this new thing called "fusion" that bands like Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra were already doing (and what British jazzers, Nucleus and Soft Machine, were doing even a bit earlier).

The band tried their best to do their own kind of jazz rock, with all the potential that the line-up had to offer. The result was brilliant in terms of musicianship, the four members were technically capable of making intense jazz rock, however that's also a flaw, sometimes the band (as they would later do in Romantic Warrior) focuses too much in their instruments rather in the composition. Also have in mind, that it's not Al Di Meola who is on guitar, it's Bill Connors, a highly capable jazz guitarist, but unfortunately the production of the album didn't help him much, leaving a bit to desire from him. My last complaint would be that Chick Corea is missing his set of synths on his keyboard deck, making much of the record sound pretty samey at first listens, due to the monotonic sound of organ and electric piano solely.

It's a pitty though, I've seen live shows from the tour of this album (through YouTube) and the music sounds better because Chick had already added the synths to the band's music. That shows me that I actually see no major flaws in the compositions, if not in the sound of the overall record, its production is not really the best.

4 stars: it is definitely a big step over Light at as Feather, and while sounding different to the Meola records, it is up there with those in terms of playing. Highly recommended jazz rock album that its only flaw is actually the lack of synths and the muddy production, and probably sometimes the focus on the technical playing. The upcoming 2011 tour of the band, which will have the entire Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy as the set-list, is something that everybody shouldn't miss. Yes, I finally decided to rate this with 4 stars since it's actually excellent, despite the already stated flaws

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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