Return to Forever: Spanish Fantasy
Chick Corea (piano, keyboards)
Return to Forever Live (Columbia/Legacy C2K 47479)
John Thomas, James Tinsley (trumpets), Harold Garrett, Ron Moss (trombones), Gerry Brown (drums).
Composed by Chick Corea.
Recorded: live in New York, May 1977
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Return to Forever Live featured a new, expanded lineup. Gone were guitarist Al Di Meola and drummer Lenny White, replaced by reed player Joe Farrell and a horn section. Success of this new aggregation was best measured by the mixed attitude of RTF's core fans. Some liked it and some didn't. Change is hard in music.
One constant in Return to Forever was the brilliant musicality of its leader and founder, Chick Corea. The first 14:45 of "Spanish Fantasy" features Corea alone on acoustic piano. He is one of the greatest piano players on earth. His flourishes are flourishes on top of flourishes. Corea seamlessly weaves a tableau that is literally the next best thing to an airplane ticket to Spain. Trumpeter John Thomas finally joins Corea with a triumphant solo. Chick switches to synthesizer to give a taste of modern Spain. The whole band then kicks into a show of pride and strength echoing the days when Spain reigned among the world's great powers.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky