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Return to Forever: Romantic Warrior

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Chick Corea (keyboards); Al DiMeola (guitar); Stanley Clarke (bass); Lenny White (drums).

Includes liner notes by Chick Corea.

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

By the time Return to Forever's ROMANTIC WARRIOR lineup coalesced, the group was very much a partnership between all four members. By 1976, with increased reliance on Corea's banks of analog synthesizers and Al Dimeola's searing electric guitar, the quartet had arrived at a musical crossroads that was more closely aligned with "progressive" ensembles of the day like Hands or Happy The Man than with real rockers or jazzmen. This undefined netherworld marked the point of delineation between "jazz-rock" a la '70s Miles and the less definable "fusion."

The compositions, contributed by all four members, feature death-defying time changes and fleet-fingered riffs that would mark the downfall of lesser men. The facility displayed by Corea, DiMeola, and bassist Stanley Clarke is astounding, as they rip through counterpoint and unison lines, spitting out sixteenth-notes like bubblegum. Drummer Lenny White is a polyrhythmic wonder, making all the bizarre, unconventional shifts sound completely organic. As on his '70s solo albums, DiMeola offers the liquid, rapid-fire solos that would inspire a generation of fusion guitarists, while Corea's nimble lead synthesizer work gives Mahavishnu-era Jan Hammer (obviously an inspiration) a run for his money.


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