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Return To Forever - Romantic Warrior CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 672 ratings

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5 stars Romantic Warrior, Return To Forever's sixth album, in my mind has just got to be one of the most beautifully crafted works of fusion available to the music lovers. Rock, jazz, funk, flamenco and classical overtones mingle wonderfully together from the first to final note, with little sprinklings of sci-fi and medieval- esque themes here and there. It is also very easily accessible, cleverly designed to captivate even those who usually would negate to entertain Jazz-Rock fusion yet without losing either the intelligence or general sensibilities of the genre. This record conveys a melting pot of emotion also; opening with the deeply mysterious Medieval Overture, filled with spacey synth and a pretty stellar performance on drums from Lenny White; track two, Sorceress, throws off the air of mystery, bringing the listener a sensual, funk themed groove, Al Di Meola brings in a few mouthwateringly good lead guitar passages reminiscent of Santana, followed by a beautiful, lengthy piano solo from Chick Corea which just has this track exploding with life; next up is The Romantic Warrior, evoking a sense of chivalry using the combined tenderness of piano, double bass and acoustic guitar (Look out for the brilliant performances from both Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola on this one!); track four, I'm delighted to say, is a favourite of mine, the wonderous Majestic Dance! This MUST be at very least a candidate for the best opening riff in fusion! It's so exciting, with the whole band ON FIRE here. I adore this one simply because it allows me to enjoy the intelligence of jazz AND the raunchiness of 70's hard rock at the same time...what's not to love?; The Magician then takes the listener back to the mystery evoking feeling again with spiralling glissando- like lead work from everyone in the band, suddenly turning to a childlike, innocent theme from Corea playing a flute like melody on the synths. A small fanfare is played by the band on this track also, which reminds one of a jousting tournament infact! Nevertheless, this bizarre musical landscape fades into another soaring guitar riff from Di Meola nearing the end of the song; the final track of the album Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant (Part 1 And 2) again begins with another mysterious and very epic opening, descending into a short almost Carribean theme, down into some straight fusion Jazz with an amazing guitar and keyboard solo within. After this the track becomes quite heavy and funky with a passage reminiscent of Pink Floyd's 'Have A Cigar' with some excellent bass and guitar work. You will find some nice classical keyboard parts near the end, plus a 'big' finale to boot. The overall production of the record is astonishingly well done. You can FEEL the crunching of the bass and the depth of the synths, guitar and drums through the speakers, it is an attack on the ears of the listener at full throttle. This is a fantastic example of fusion at its finest...enjoy!
FusionKing | 5/5 |


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