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Return To Forever - Live At Montreux 2008 CD (album) cover

LIVE AT MONTREUX 2008

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.24 | 40 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Well this is the companion DVD to the live album of the same name, so don't expect my review to differ much from the review I wrote earlier. Actually the DVD was released a few months after the double disc affair, to capitalize on the gullible fans that might be tempted to buy both (I rented both). Needless to say that the DVD offers the added enjoyment of the visual part of the show, even if looking at near-sixty men is not all that much a thrill, apart their hands doing their respective crafts. Seeing the show might even demystify the music, like the percussion solo that Corea executes on his synth, which cheapens a bit the overall experience. Otherwise, the performance is gentle, rather static, but hey, these guys are jazz musicians, not hip-hop artistes.

So Chick appears to be the senior member of the quartet and still acts as the band leader and is in prime form, although some of his choices of synth sounds are a bit dated. He plays percussion with a mallet inside his acoustic piano, a little further down the set. Stanley appears to have sustained the decades better than his colleagues and is his usual self with the typical funky slant he's known for, but also puts the bow to the contrabass. Al obviously is concerned with looking younger (he is) than his colleagues and wears dark shades throughout the first part of the show and uses the "unshaven look"; and while he switches guitars a few times, mostly it seems for body colours and lightshow colour- coordination reasons more than musical ones (except for the acoustic one in Milonga Del Angel of course). As for Lenny, he's like Chick, showing his real age and my guess is that he undergoes the tougher toll (drumming is definitely more physically demanding), and it seems Chick bailed him out while he was taking a solo and "got lost" midway through. The only flaw (but that's nothing new with RTF) is the over-emphasis on the virtuoso qualities of each member, sometimes at the expense of the smooth running of the set list.

The DVD comes with the US tour footage as bonus, but it's mostly the solo pieces that were already present on the Montreux concert, with the notable exception of the last Jester & tyrant piece from Romantic Warrior. In either case, the two performances are stellar, with the four stars still at the top of their games. My advice is to take the DVD and forget the double Cd version.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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