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Chick Corea

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Return To Forever - Romantic Warrior [Columbia PC 34076] (1976)

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ITEM# SR-COPC34076
Ratings: C=G-; LP=G+

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Artist:

Return To Forever

Title:

Romantic Warrior

Released: 1976
Label: Columbia
Catalog: PC 34076
Genre: Jazz, Fusion


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Medieval Overture
02 Sorceress
03 The Romantic Warrior
04 Majestic Dance
05 The Magician
06 Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant (Part I & Part II)
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Album Review

Romantic Warrior is the sixth studio album by the American jazz fusion band Return to Forever, released in 1976 by Columbia Records. After releasing their previous album, No Mystery (1975), their fourth for Polydor Records, the group moved to Columbia and retreated to Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colorado to record their next album. It was also their first to be credited solely to Return to Forever, removing the ''featuring Chick Corea'' moniker. The album is more avant-garde and less funky than No Mystery, and remains the band's highest selling album with over 500,000 copies sold in the US. [wikipedia.org]


Chick Corea - My Spanish Heart [Polydor PD-2-9003] (10-1976)

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ITEM# SR-POPD29003
Ratings: C=VG LP=VG+

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Artist:

Chick Corea

Title:

My Spanish Heart (with Jean-Luc Ponty)

Released: 10-1976
Label: Polydor
Catalog: PD-2-9003
Genre: Jazz
NOTE: 2LPs on 1 CD
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Love Castle
02 The Gardens
03 Day Danse
04 My Spanish Heart
05 Night Streets
06 The Hilltop
07 The Sky:
Part I: Children's Song No. 8
Part II: Portrait Of Children's Song No. 8
08 Wind Danse
09 Armando's Rhumba
10 Prelude To El Bozo
11 El Bozo, Part I
12 El Bozo, Part II
13 El Bozo, Part III
14 Spanish Fantasy, Part I
15 Spanish Fantasy, Part II
16 Spanish Fantasy, Part III
17 Spanish Fantasy, Part IV
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Album Review

Thom Jurek [allmusic.com]

This 1976 release features Chick Corea in what was then, and remains, a unique musical setting. While it is truly an electric jazz fusion record, it is also the only solo recording of Corea's on which he attempted to truly explore the Latin side of his musical heritage. My Spanish Heart marks a full-scale, yet thoroughly modern, exploration in the musical lineage Corea sprang from. Making full use of synthesizer technology, a string section, and synth-linked choruses -- of two voices, his own and that of Gayle Moran -- as well as percussionist Don Alias, drummer Steve Gadd, a full brass section, and the sparse use of Jean Luc Ponty ("Armando's Rumba") and bassist Stanley Clark, Corea largely succeeded in creating a Spanish/Latin tapestry of sounds, textures, impressions, and even two suites -- "Spanish Fantasy" and "El Bozo." The string quartet performs its intricate and gorgeously elegant arrangements with verve and grace on "Day Danse" and on the suites, with Corea's contrapuntal pianism creating a sharp yet warm contrast to the shifting tempos, wild interval leaps, and shimmering timbral balances that occur. The only pieces that sound dated on this double-album-length set are the fusion pieces, which are, with their production and knotty stop-and-start modulations and key signature equations -- complete with aggressive arpeggios and scalar linguistics -- destined to be limited in expression by the voice of their use of technology. Thus, "Love Castles," "The Gardens," and "Night Streets" suffer from their rather cheesy production despite their tastefully done double fusion semantics (jazz to rock to Latin music). There is no doubt that Corea's musicianship was up to any task he chose at this point in time. Simply put, he was compositionally and intellectually at the top of his game, and this record, despite the many of his that haven't aged well, still surprises despite its production shortcomings.


Chick Corea & Return To Forever - Musicmagic [Columbia PC 34682] (January 1977)

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ITEM# SR-COPC34682
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Chick Corea & Return To Forever

Title:

Musicmagic

Released: January 1977
Label: Columbia
Catalog: PC 34682
Jazz, Fusion


T R A C K L I S T:
01 The Musician
02 Hello Again
03 Musicmagic
04 So Long Mickey Mouse
05 Do You Ever
06 The Endless Night
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Album Review

Musicmagic is the seventh and final studio album of fusion band Return to Forever.

This album contains the final line-up of the band, with only founders Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke returning from the previous album. This is the first album since Light as a Feather (1973) to contain vocals, featuring Stanley Clarke and Corea's wife Gayle Moran. This album also marks the return of original member Joe Farrell on saxophone and flute, along with several new members making up a five-piece horn section.

In addition to the conventional 2 channel stereo version the album was also released by Colombia in a 4 channel quadraphonic version in 1977 as one of the last quadraphonic albums released by the label. In 2016 the album was re-issued in stereo on hybrid Super Audio CD by Audio Fidelity. It was re-issued again on SACD by Dutton Vocalion in 2017 containing both the quadraphonic and stereo mixes.

With the addition of trombonist Ron Moss, this lineup toured and recorded the live album Live (1977) which was re-issued in 1978 as a 4-LP set called Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert. [wikipedia.org]

Chick Corea's Biography

Scott Yanow [allmusic.com]

Chick Corea has been one of the most significant jazzmen since the '60s. Not content at any time to rest on his laurels, he has been involved in quite a few important musical projects, and his musical curiosity has never dimmed. A masterful pianist who, along with Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, was one of the top stylists to emerge after Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner, Corea is also one of the few electric keyboardists to be quite individual and recognizable on synthesizers. In addition, he has composed several jazz standards, including "Spain," "La Fiesta," and "Windows."

Corea began playing piano when he was four and, early on, Horace Silver and Bud Powell were influences. He picked up important experience playing with the bands of Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo (1962-1963), Blue Mitchell (1964-1966), Herbie Mann, and Stan Getz. He made his recording debut as a leader with 1966's Tones for Joan's Bones, and his 1968 trio release (with Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes) Now He Sings, Now He Sobs is considered a classic. After a short stint with Sarah Vaughan, Corea joined Miles Davis as Herbie Hancock's gradual replacement, staying with Davis during a very important transitional period (1968-1970). He was persuaded by the trumpeter to start playing electric piano, and was on such significant albums as Filles de Kilimanjaro, In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, and Miles Davis at the Fillmore. When he left Davis, Corea at first chose to play avant-garde acoustic jazz in Circle, a quartet with Anthony Braxton, Dave Holland, and Barry Altschul. But at the end of 1971, he changed directions again.

Leaving Circle, Corea played briefly with Stan Getz and then formed Return to Forever, which started out as a melodic Brazilian group with Stanley Clarke, Joe Farrell, Airto, and Flora Purim. Within a year, Corea (with Clarke, Bill Connors, and Lenny White) had changed Return to Forever into a pace-setting and high-powered fusion band; Al DiMeola took Connors' place in 1974. While the music was rock-oriented, it still retained the improvisations of jazz, and Corea remained quite recognizable, even under the barrage of electronics. When RTF broke up in the late '70s, Corea retained the name for some big-band dates with Clarke. During the next few years, he generally emphasized his acoustic playing and appeared in a wide variety of contexts, including separate duet tours with Gary Burton and Herbie Hancock, a quartet with Michael Brecker, trios with Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes, tributes to Thelonious Monk, and even some classical music.

In 1985, Chick Corea formed a new fusion group, the Elektric Band, which eventually featured bassist John Patitucci, guitarist Frank Gambale, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, and drummer Dave Weckl. To balance out his music, he formed his Akoustic Trio with Patitucci and Weckl a few years later. When Patitucci went out on his own in the early '90s, the personnel changed, but Corea continued leading stimulating groups (including a quartet with Patitucci and Bob Berg). During 1996-1997, Corea toured with an all-star quintet (including Kenny Garrett and Wallace Roney) that played modern versions of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk compositions. He remains an important force in modern jazz, and every phase of his development has been well documented on records.

Corea began the 21st century by releasing a pair of solo piano records, Solo Piano: Originals and Solo Piano: Standards, in 2000, followed by Past, Present & Futures in 2001. Rendezvous in New York appeared in 2003, followed by To the Stars in 2004. The Ultimate Adventure was released in 2006. That same year, Corea released Super Trio with drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Christian McBride. In the spring of 2007, Corea released an unlikely but ultimately satisfying duet album with banjo master Béla Fleck entitled The Enchantment on Concord, followed by a Universal Japan-only six-disc box set called Five Trios in 2008 that showcased the pianist in a handful of different trio settings. The same year, Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton released their fourth offering together, entitled The New Crystal Silence.

The year 2008 was a busy one for Corea. He and John McLaughlin got together for the first time since they both played on Miles Davis' seminal Bitches Brew album. They pulled together a band with saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and bassist Christian McBride for the recording Five Peace Band: Live (with another former Miles collaborator, Herbie Hancock, guesting on "In a Silent Way/It's About That Time"). Concord re-released Return to Forever's four albums issued between 1973 and 1976 (with Corea, White, Clarke, and DiMeola) -- Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I Known You Before, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior -- as a precursor for a reunion tour. This resulted in both a live album, entitled Returns, and a concert DVD. In 2009, Corea teamed with Japanese piano sensation Hiromi for Duet, followed by a live trio album entitled Forever with Clarke and White, culled from their "RTF Unplugged" tour. The two-disc set, issued by Concord in 2011, featured guest appearances by Chaka Khan, original RTF guitarist Connors, and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

In 2012, Corea was busy from the start. He delivered a trio recording on Concord in January entitled Further Explorations; his sidemen were Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian (both members of various Evans ensembles). Corea: The Continents Concerto for Jazz Quintet and Chamber Orchestra was issued by Deutsche Grammophone in February. In September, another duet recording with Burton, Hot House, was released by Concord. In the summer of 2013, Corea debuted his new electric band with the album The Vigil. Its members include bassist Christian McBride (though Hadrien Feraud often plays with the group live), drummer Marcus Gilmore, Tim Garland on reeds and winds, and guitarist Charles Altura.
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