The music maintained a Latin undercarriage, but RTF was now playing in fusion's big leagues. Thirty some years out, "After the Cosmic Rain" is instantly recognizable as a Stanley Clarke composition. Its catchy hooks, soaring phrases and many theme changes would later become Clarke trademarks. A simple bass riff begins the tune. The other players enter en masse and climb up a ladder. The structure of the piece allows enough room for the talented musicians to take explorative solos and for Clarke to do so in an extended and jaw-dropping way. In places, Corea sounds much like his contemporary Jan Hammer. The interplay between Corea and Conners, who was a fine fusion guitarist, is especially pleasing. White's drumming is of a high-caliber. The tune ends as it began, flying out into space.
"After the Cosmic Rain" is very representative of Return to Forever's best work. But this lineup would be short-lived. Al Di Meola would replace Conners for the very next project, and the band's sound would change again.
February 14, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: after the cosmic rain
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