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No Mystery

Return To Forever

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Album Review

The fourth edition of Return to Forever was a band that emphasized the screaming wah-wah guitar of Al Di Meola and every electric keyboard Chick Corea could get his hands on to play furiously fast runs. Where the initial, airy Flora Purim/Airto/Joe Farrell edition gave way to the second undocumented group featuring Earl Klugh, and the third band with electric guitarist Bill Connors, this RTF was resplendently and unapologetically indulgent, ripping through riffs and charted, rehearsed melodies, and polyrhythms like a circular saw through a thin tree branch. Their immediacy and visceral power is why rock audiences were drawn to them, impressed by their speed-demon vagaries as much as their concern for musicality. Thank goodness No Mystery had more than its share of toned-down acoustic moments, as well as the powerhouse fighter jet stance that most of their fans craved. It's not nearly as balanced as the previous album Where Have I Known You Before?, but expounds on those themes — inspired by Neville not Harry Potter — in a more progressive though louder manner. The bold, dancing, and funky "Dayride" in a higher octave and vocal-type keyboard range perfectly identifies the group sound in a scant three-plus minutes. The two-part, 14-minute "Celebration Suite" gives you a larger view of the classical Bartok/Chopin influence of Corea, and the dramatic medieval or regal stance they alchemized with so many keyboard sounds. It's pseudo-funky, Spanish in a 6/8 rhythm, wailing with Di Meola leaping forth in true guitar hero form, with some group-oriented perfunctory subtleties and complex lines. The title track is the jewel, an acoustic romp through fields of flowers with Lenny White on marimba buoyed by a beautiful, lilting, memorable melody and shifting loud and soft dynamics — a classic in the repertoire and a fan favorite. The tromping beat of "Jungle Waterfall" supersedes Stanley Clarke's lithe lines, while noise keyboards dominate the silly "Sofistifunk." Corea's acoustic piano is featured on the chordal, grandiose solo "Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal," and in duet with Clarke. the improvised "Interplay" shows a more spontaneous rather than rehearsed side of these brilliant musicians. Over time, No Mystery yields mixed results, where initially they were viscerally driven and ultimately impressive. The next phase of the group, as indicated by this recording, would take them into even more technologically dominated music. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

An All Time Classic

I first heard this album in 1975 when I was 21 and 32 years later it is still one of my favorites. A unique driving sound that I don't believe Chick was ever able to duplicate again. The two piece CELEBRATION SUITE is a masterpiece. Chick Corea's synthesizer is both eleictrifying and soothing all in one. Al Diemola's and guitar work is terrific. Lenny White's drumming is crisp and vibrant and Stanley Clarke's bass playing pounds into your gut. This is not piano bar jazz but 70's Jazz Fusion at its best.

Return To Forever: all star crew of members from Corea to Clarke!

this album is amazing! I started listening to Return To Forever when i was reading about stanley Clarke. it is so easy to listen to and many parts of the songs on this album have been later transformed and used in rap beats. No Mystery, Dayride and Celebration Suite Pt. 1 &2 are songs everyone must listen to. if you dont like jazz listen to this and you will fall in love with Return to Forever!

WOW…. The Origins Of Fusion Jazz!

This album was made before I was born, but over the years, I've been quite an avid fan of Jazz (especially fusion). Cats like George Duke, Herbie Hancock, and others really got me interested. But this album, well, my goodness…. WOW, is all I can say! As was the case with other reviewers, this album doesn't stop! It doesn't just master one or two runs; instead, there are many, many runs in EACH SONG, not just one alone! The artists don't dominate; instead, they follow each other, and as the song progresses, one takes over, and then another follows after that! Just those factors will cause you to listen to this over and over again! In fact, it was so good that I literally bought the entire album (which is rare for me). It is not often that I buy entire albums where I can say each song is great, but this is one of them!

Get it, get it, get it!

Biography

Formed: 1971

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Jazz keyboard player Chick Corea's Return to Forever emerged as one of the key jazz-rock fusion bands of the 1970s. Like Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, they were formed by an alumnus of Miles Davis' late-'60s bands with the intention of furthering the jazz-rock hybrid Davis had explored on albums like Bitches Brew. At the time, this was seen as a means of creativity, a new direction for jazz, and as a way of attracting the kinds of large audiences enjoyed by rock musicians. Return to...
Full Bio
No Mystery, Return to Forever
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: Jan 1975

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