After the triumphant return of Return to Forever in 2008, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White decided on their latest CD to revisit where it all began on a two-CD set of 18 quintessential tunes from their past endeavors. The first CD highlights jazz standards they’ve covered, and in all honesty, this trio still holds my attention on tunes I’ve heard almost too many times…credit where credit is due.
Disc two features some of Return to Forever’s earlier work featuring the bands original guitarist Bill Connors, always a pleasure to listen to, and violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty.
I listen to these tracks and what admittingly floats through my mind is…when music was music. With all due respect to so many great artists that have followed, these compositions in my opinion more or less set the standard for future contemporary jazz, in the best sense of the word/words.
All throughout these CD’s Corea, Clarke, and White tear it up, while the sense of a great composition is never undermined. Another musical treat to this project is the presence of Chaka Khan for a track, singing like only she can. For the record, Stanley is at his best all throughout both CD’s. For those who have had Forever in their musical history, this is a no-brainer to add to your collection for all the right reasons.