Return to Forever: Return to Forever Returns: Live at Montreux 2008

Of all the reunions pianist Chick Corea has participated in over the past few years, last year’s resurrection of the classic Return to Forever lineup – Corea, guitarist Al DiMeola, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White – turned out to be the most musically rewarding. The guys play as if it were still 1976, and Corea even took a vintage Rhodes to the stage to keep it authentic. If anything, the group is even better now with age and wisdom – DiMeola’s guitar runs sparkle with soul, Clarke’s and White’s rhythms are even earthier now, and in spite of these musicians having so distinctly honed their identities over time, Chick is still the masterful glue that keeps it all together. Though known mostly for their electric work, RTF’s acoustic side is on display for almost half of Live at Montreux, with Chick’s solo improvisation before “The Romantic Warrior” (with Clarke and White as a straight-ahead trio) proving that RTF, for all their fusion tendencies, were always, deep down, a jazz band. (Eagle Rock Entertainment 2009)

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