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The Definitive Collection: Chick Corea & Return to Forever

Chick Corea & Return to Forever

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Album Review

The titles that record companies come up with to indicate to consumers that an album is a compilation — "Greatest Hits," "Best Of," "Gold," etc. — can sometimes get them into trouble if the contents, for one reason or another, do not live up to the grandiose name. A case in point is Universal Music's series called The Definitive Collection. (Individual albums are released on the conglomerate's many subsidiary labels, this one appearing on the Verve imprint.) That's just asking for trouble. And the release of this name devoted to Chick Corea and Return to Forever is a case in point. The group had a four-album tenure on the Polydor label, now controlled by Universal, between 1972 and 1975, following a debut album on ECM and followed by several albums for Columbia Records. The earlier and later recordings by Return to Forever are not included on this disc, which restricts itself to selections from the four Polydor albums, Light as a Feather (1972), Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), Where Have I Known You Before (1974), and No Mystery (1975). Within that restriction, the choices are reasonable, and the disc has a generous running time of nearly 76 minutes. The listener gets a good sense of the band's evolution from its Latin beginnings to its mature fusion style. But, lacking anything from Return to Forever albums like Romantic Warrior, it simply cannot (or should not, anyway) be called The Definitive Collection.

Customer Reviews

A Smattering of RTF

If you have never heard this group, buy this collection. I would give it 5 stars if it had more cuts and a little more Al and Stan.

Biography

Born: June 12, 1941 in Chelsea, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio