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).
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.
The most popular and successful lineup of Return to Forever Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Al Di Meola was coming off the Grammy-winning No Mystery when it recorded its third and final album, Romantic Warrior. It has been suggested that in employing a medieval album cover (drawn by Wilson McLean), using titles like "Medieval Overture" and "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant," and occasionally playing in a baroque style, particularly in Clarke's "The Magician," Corea was responding to Rick Wakeman's successful string of albums on similar themes. Certainly, the music suggests that the musicians have been listening to Wakeman's band, Yes, among other progressive rock groups. But they bring more of a traditional jazz approach to their sound, particularly in the opening statement of intent "Medieval Overture" and the original side one closer, "The Romantic Warrior," both of which feature extensive acoustic piano soloing by Corea.
This unique straight-ahead jazz project unites three core members of Return to Forever with post-bop horn heavyweights Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson. Stanley Clarke makes an unusual appearance on upright bass, and plays it well. Chick Corea and Lenny White round out the ensemble. The set is strictly acoustic, beginning and ending with two Lenny White tunes, the lively "L's Bop" and the somber, dramatic "Guernica," respectively. Clarke contributes the catchy, mid-tempo blues "Why Wait," while Corea gives us "October Ballade" and Hubbard dusts off his hard-bop classic "Happy Times." Corea's trio featured on Steve Swallow's "Remember" breaks things up nicely.
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.
The second album of CLEARLIGHT 1975. The original LP was released on Virgin Records. Guest musicians: DAVID CROSS (KING CRIMSON), CHRISTIAN BOULE, GILBERT ARTMAN (LARD FREE, URBAN SAX)…etc. Including remixes in 2000 and unreleased tracks from 1980/81 as bonus. "Forever Blowing bubbles" sounds a lot less like Gong and more like a symphonic version of Steve Hillage's solo works. Great progressive rock music with beautiful keyboard, guitar and saxophone solos.