Return To Forever
More often than not, the jazz/fusion era gets a bad rap for its overuse of electronics, rock-influenced beats, and complicated melodies and structure. Some of it can be difficult to listen to without chemical enhancement. But the operative term is "fusion," and even though Miles Davis gets the primary credit for kick-starting the genre, few bands made as big an impact – musically or commercially – as Return to Forever. Take four musical geniuses (Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White), put them in a studio and let them loose. That formula produced four amazing albums that defined fusion, and most of that output is on the new Anthology. Released in part as an enhancement for the current reunion tour, The Anthology demonstrates that RTF made some incredible, groundbreaking music – as complex/absorbing and funky/beautiful today as it was then. Four stars
Return To Forever performs at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Sat. Aug. 2. 8 p.m.