Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea: The Game Maker


The Game Maker


Return to Forever


Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (Polydor 825 336-2)

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Chick Corea (keyboards), Bill Connors (guitar), Stanley Clarke (bass), Lenny White (drums).

Composed by Chick Corea


Recorded: New York, August 1973


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy marked the beginning of Return to Forever's rise in the jazz-rock fusion pecking order. The band's previous incarnation as Latin-jazz provocateurs, which featured the whispery vocal stylings of Flora Purim and percussion efforts of the great Airto, was now a thing of the past. That husband-&-wife team would go on to some success. But RTF's upward mobility eclipsed most everybody else's in the genre. New band members guitarist Bill Connors and drummer Lenny White added the power to the band that Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke were looking for.

"The Game Maker" is borne of Corea's gentle electric piano flourishes and a strummed acoustic guitar. Lenny White enters with a drum roll. The switches are flipped. We have power. The tune has little of the Latin overtones previously associated with the band. If anything, the performance sounds a bit like Larry Coryell's Eleventh House. It goes beyond that comparison with an added distortion, probably created by a ring modulator or similar toy. Some fantastic unison and trading between Connors and Corea ensues. White seems to strike a drum with each individual note. The new band is part RTF, part Mahavishnu, part Larry Coryell, and now part of the jazz-rock revolution. Indeed, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy is a game maker.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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