Return to Forever: The Romantic Warrior


The Romantic Warrior


Return to Forever


Romantic Warrior (Columbia CK 46109)

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Chick Corea (keyboards, percussion), Al Di Meola (guitar), Stanley Clarke (bass), Lenny White (drums, percussion).

Composed by Chick Corea


Recorded: Nederland, Colorado, February 1976


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

To me, the jazz-fusion opus was always the most enjoyable product from the great jazz-rock bands. These large-scope pieces provided the opportunity for hearing broad compositions played to the hilt by ensembles that featured musicians who excelled both as a group and as individuals. I have always been in favor of stretching out in any context. (Even in the context of the taut structure of this piece.) But give me a player, or a group of improvisers, that wants to say something provocative, and I will listen forever. I want to get lost in a hundred different themes that travel down a hundred different roads. I want to hear the guitarist switch from electric to acoustic or listen as the bassist plucks and then bows. Give me the sound of acoustic piano and electric organ. Play some Latin percussion and some rocking snare drum. You want to show off and play a thousand notes a minute? Go ahead. I want to hear that. Better yet, why don't you and the pianist do it at the same time? Throw in the kitchen sink while you're at it.

"The Romantic Warrior" is one of fusion's best such opuses. The theme changes and notes come at you so quickly that you forget them as they pass. The music itself can actually surpass its own groove. But that is the wonderful thing about getting lost in music. It can be a wild and challenging ride. Yet if you let yourself go, stop thinking, and let the music capture you, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Reviewer's Note: I write while I listen. My last period was hit as the last note was heard. I love it when that happens.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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