Return for Forever

Or maybe from forever, since it's been a good quarter century since the core RTF quartet played together, and even longer since the group's halcyon days in the 1970s. Keyboardist Chick Corea was playing with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz when he formed RTF to explore the jazz-rock terrain Miles Davis ventured into with Bitches Brew and subsequently addressed by Weather Report and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. RTF originally had a Brazilian tinge, but with Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy's release in 1973 emerged an electric sound bristling with hard-charging rock-energy, jazz chops and improvisational daring, judiciously placed hooks, and plenty of spatial oddities in the tune names ("Vulcan Worlds"), as well as expansive music. The lineup eventually settled into Corea, joined by bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White, and guitarist Al Di Meola, all formidable and versatile players. RTF's rep has drifted with the tides of jazz-rock's critical fortunes over the years, purists from either camp still sniping, but those with open minds enjoy the undeniable visceral and intellectual pleasures of their work. Their return, along with a new two-disc retrospective, The Anthology (Concord), has been greeted with glowing reviews.
Thu., June 19, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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