Pianist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White have teamed up once again to revisit their common roots in the seminal fusion band Return to Forever. On June 7, 2011, Concord Jazz released Forever, a two-CD set of 18 tunes that include updated RTF classics as well as jazz trio standards. In support of the release, a tour is planned for next summer.
This very attractive five-CD set does an excellent job of summing up the rather productive career of pianist-keyboardist Chick Corea. The first two discs have highlights from the 1964-1982 period including a few sideman appearances, a previously unissued version of "Windows" played with Stan Getz, the original version of "Spain," four pieces from the Return to Forever days, and numbers from his freelance projects of the late '70s (highlighted by the exciting "Central Park"). The third disc concentrates on Corea's GRP projects (1986-1994), particularly his Elektric and Akoustic Bands (two selections were previously unissued), while the fourth CD is quite a grab-bag that includes collaborations with Herbie Hancock (a version of "Liza" that progresses from stride to free), Gayle Moran, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia, Gary Burton, Bobby McFerrin, and Miles Davis (a new duet version of "I Fall in Love So Easily" from 1969).
Musicmagic is Return to Forever's seventh and final studio album and one of the best jazz recordings released in the fusion genre. The album contains the final line-up of the band with only founders Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke returning from the previous recordings. This 1977 release was the first Return to Forever album in five years to contain vocals, performed here by Corea's future wife Gayle Moran and the surprisingly enjoyable Stanley Clarke. This album also marked the return of original member Joe Farrell on saxophone and flute, along with several new members making up a killer five-piece horn section…
Return to Forever Live (and Return to Forever Live: The Complete Concert) is the final album by fusion band Return to Forever. It was recorded live at the Palladium in New York City on May 20 and 21 1977 as part of the Musicmagic tour to support the album of the same name. This was the only tour to feature the Musicmagic lineup, which included original members Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Joe Farrell, along with newly added member Gayle Moran on piano and a six-piece horn section.
Stanley Clarke's debut solo effort was issued when he was already a seasoned jazz veteran, and a member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever, which at the time of this recording also included Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, and the Brazilian team of vocalist Flora Purim and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira. Produced by Corea, who plays Rhodes, clavinet, and acoustic piano on Children of Forever, the band included flutist Art Webb, then-new RtF drummer Lenny White, guitarist Pat Martino, and a vocal pairing in the inimitable Andy Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater on three of the five cuts – Bey appears on four. Clarke plays both electric and acoustic bass on the set; and while it would be easy to simply look at this recording as an early fusion date, that would be a tragic mistake.