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Return To Forever - Return To Forever CD (album) cover

RETURN TO FOREVER

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 173 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Back in the day I had a rather short but intense flirtation with fusion. Due to the more commercial direction that I heard on some late-70's albums, I quickly lost sight of my jazz vaults. The regular fusion reviews from a certain member here made me explore my early love again. So it's about time to blow off the dust of some early favourites.

RTF's first line-up mainly revolved around percussion, bass and keyboards, with a minor contribution from flutes, saxophone and vocals. With the guitar vacancy still open, this album is very different from RTF's later albums. And I believe it works in their advantage, especially on the stunning opening track.

When I first heard this I thought I had found me a new favourite band, such a rich and emotional piece of music this is. All instruments get a lot of breathing space, and the emphasis is more on creating a beautiful mood, varying between sad, dreamy and mellow. This track has some interesting wordless female jazz vocals, but it's Stanley Clarke's bass and Chick Corea's keyboards that take the spotlight. The dominance of the jazzy keyboards lends this album more atmosphere then later RTF albums.

Crystal Silence features Joe Farrell on saxophone and it makes RTF almost sound like an mellow version of Weather Report. Very classical mood jazz, it's a delightful piece but not really RTF's core-business.

If the opener had made me believe I had found me a new favourite fusion band, the folksy easy-listening jazz-pop of What Game Shall We Play Today quickly brought my feet back on the ground. Not bad probably but it will rather appeal to fans of light folksy jazz like Harmonium.

The 23 minute Sometime Ago - La Fiesta could have lifted the album to excellence, but while it has a couple of great sections, the bulk of it is rather poppy and the ending part, La Fiesta, doesn't appeal to me at all with its exotic cocktail party music.

I would almost give it 4 stars for the strong start but it's a bit of a downward slope from then on. If you like Latin fusion a lot this will probably highly appeal.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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