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


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.19 | 296 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Husband and wife team Flora Purim and Airto Moreira left Return to Forever after completing the wonderful Light as a Feather, and on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy Chick Corea adjust the band's sound accordingly, more or less removing the Latin influences brought to the table by those two performers and instead going for a more straight-ahead heavy fusion album.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra appears to be the primary influence, which you could see as an astute move on Corea's part - after all, this was at a time when the sessions for the original Orchestra's third studio album had collapsed in disarray and rumour was rife on the jazz scene that all was not well in the Mahavishnu ranks, and indeed by the end of the year the original lineup would be no more. What better time to throw your hat into the ring as far as fast-paced hard fusion goes?

Whilst Bill Connors doesn't quite manage to attain the furious speeds on his guitar playing that John McLaughlin does on The Inner Mounting Flame, he certainly gives it his best shot, and his interplay with Chick's electric piano is a highlight of the album's sound. As noted by other reviewers, the influence of other fusion traditions such as the more jazzy end of the Canterbury spectrum creeps in here or there, but otherwise this is a fusion album firmly rooted in the tradition of Mahavishnu, Weather Report, and Miles Davis, with a sound that at points risks becoming generic thanks to its close mimicry of the Mahavishnu sound.

The album is saved by the fact that this new lineup of the group is really good at what they do. Lenny White on drums takes a more forceful approach suited to the new style, whilst Bill Connors' furious guitar work is rightfully given plenty of spotlight, since it is the addition of electric guitar which is the major departure from the sound of the early albums. Between them, Connors and White strap a rocket to Return To Forever and help them blast off for the Seventh Galaxy, at points beating Mahavishnu at their own game.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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