Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea: No Mystery
Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea
No Mystery (Polydor 827-149-2)
Composed by Chick Corea.
Recorded: New York, January 1975
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
The better fusion bands would always take a few moments or so on their records or in concert to show off their pure virtuosity. Electronics can cover a lot of bad notes. But in delicate or intricate acoustic music, a flubbed note could stick out like a liberal on Fox News. These bands would risk playing a beautiful melody in order to demonstrate that they knew as much as their jazz forefathers about musical tradition – maybe even more. It was reverse machismo. When loud fusion bands unplugged to lower the volume, that's when they were showing off most! When bad bands tried this, it was a cosmic joke. When great bands did it, the result could be transcendent.
Chick Corea's Return to Forever could be such a unit. "No Mystery" is a beautifully realized composition. Interwoven with the delicate fluttering of Corea's keys and Di Meola's strings, the tune is performed in several movements. It is filled with highly elaborate flights of joy and more somber tones as Clarke bows his upright. Percussionist Lenny White provides rhythmic texture while never pounding away on a single drumhead. Sure, lots of this music was written out and improvisation was at a minimum. "No Mystery" is even more classical than it is jazz. But performances like these set Return to Forever and other such bands apart. They expected their audiences to appreciate good music in all of its forms. If they had to teach their new rock fans this fact, that is what they were going to do. A little showing-off during the lesson never hurt anybody.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky
If you liked this track, also check out
- Return to Forever (featuring Chick Corea): Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal
- Stanley Clarke: School Days
- Al Di Meloa: No Mystery
In Conversation with Chick Corea by Patrick Spurling
The Dozens: Twelve Historic Return to Forever Tracks by Walter Kolosky
Does Return to Forever Tour Signal a Return to Fusion? by Walter Kolosky