Return to Forever were a legendary American jazz rock/jazz fusion band which had been founded and fronted by pianist Chick Corea. They were initially active between 1972 and 1977 before breaking up and then subsequently re-forming very briefly in 1983 and 2008 before re-uniting for the last time from 2010 until 2021, the year during which founder Chick Corea passed away.
Return to Forever were one of the most distinguished and finest jazz rock/jazz fusion bands ever, being on par with other highly notable legends of their genre such as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, or The Headhunters. In the passing of time, there have been many members who joined and left the band. Nonetheless, throughout the decades, aside from founder and pianist Chick Corea, only bassist Stanley Clarke was a constant member. Other notable members include guitarist Al Di Meola, drummer Lenny White, and percussionist Airto Moreira (formerly of Weather Report).
The band was signed with ECM in the beginning but had later on switched to Polydor and then to Columbia as the 1970s progressed, finishing their career with Eagle. Apart from jazz fusion, which they helped pioneer being a core band of the genre, Return To Forever also exhibited a progressive rock sound. Additionally, prior to founding the group, Chick Corea had already been an accomplished musician with a tremendous degree of experience during the late 1960s and early 1970s, having, most notably, previously collaborated with jazz legend Miles Davis on two of his most notable studio albums, more specifically ‘In a Silent Way’ (1969) and ‘Bitches Brew’ (1970). So it is that Return To Forever wasn’t actually Corea’s first band but rather the second one he had founded, after Circle with which he performed from 1970 and 1971.
Subsequently, he switched from avant-garde jazz to jazz rock/jazz fusion with Return To Forever, releasing 7 studio albums over a span of 5 years, from 1972 to 1977 more specifically. The studio albums released by the band are as such the following ones:
- Return to Forever (released through ECM in 1972);
- Light as a Feather (released through Polydor in 1973);
- Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (released through Polydor in 1973);
- Where Have I Known You Before (released through Polydor in 1974);
- No Mystery (released through Polydor in 1975);
- Romantic Warrior (released through Columbia in 1976);
- Musicmagic (released through Columbia in 1977).
The group had also released three live albums:
- Live (released through Columbia in 1978);
- Return to Forever – Returns (released through Eagle in 2009);
- The Mothership Returns (released through Eagle in 2009).
Last but not least, they had also issued three compilations:
- Return to the Seventh Galaxy: The Anthology (released through Verve in 1996);
- This is Jazz (released through Sony in 1997);
- Return to Forever: The Anthology (released through Concord in 2008).
Below you can listen to some of my all time most favourite songs by them. I truly hope you will like them! Thank you very much for your attention, time, and readership on The Rockpedia! All the best, much health, take care, stay safe, many blessings, and great peace your way! God bless you and keep on listening to jazz rock fusion!
Documentation sources and external links:
- Return to Forever on www.wikipedia.org (in English)