Chick Corea: Compadres




Chick Corea (keyboards)


Touchstone (Warner Brothers)

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

Composed by Chick Corea


Recorded: Los Angeles, 1982


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

"Compadres" is the only recorded performance of the famous Return to Forever lineup of Corea, Clarke, Di Meola and White that appeared outside the auspices of the formal group. Recorded a year before a short series of RTF reunion concerts in New York City, the tune shows a more technologically advanced sound while retaining the band's core personality.

The biggest sound difference from the mid-'70s aggregation is Corea on keyboards. The sound of his synthesizer is heavier and more polytonal. In fact, the first minute of the tune could easily be mistaken for Joe Zawinul and Weather Report. After the introductory section, the guys settle into the Return to Forever mode of Latin-influenced riffs and displays of singular virtuosity. The melody of "Compadres" is not the star. Each player except White is predictably given solo time. This is all very impressive. Meanwhile, White has plenty to do as he ratchets up the tempo until the tune becomes a driving blues-infected rocker. Also of note are some moments of humor. This is not something fusion music was known for. In particular, from left field Corea tosses in some short quotes from the old days. They sound so innocent in the context of the new music that you can't help but giggle a bit.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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