Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rock Revival's Classic Albums (1974): 'Where Have I Known You Before" Return to Forever

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This was the 4th album by Return to Forever, lead by one of the most versatile pianists of the past forty years, Chick Corea. Before Return to Forever Chick was a member of Miles Davis's electric band and as such was one of the first generation of jazz fusion musicians (as was Keith Jarrett).

After Return to Forever he went on to record nearly one hundred albums (more even than Frank Zappa): enough fantastic jazz and fusion to keep you going for a life time. Chick Corea would probably be my 'desert island artists' if I could only take one persons discography (Tap Step 1980, Trio Live in Europe, 1987, Septet. 1985, Like Minds, 1998 are all recommended).

Anyway, Where Have I known You Before was an attempt to make 'space rock', a highly commendable task if you ask me (shared by Hawkind). Chick is joined by Stanley Clarke, bassist par excellence as previous Return..member, but acoustic guitarist Bill Connors is replaced by Al Di Meola, a 19 year old precocious genius who would go on to international stardom.

Chick plays moog, and in combination with Al's frenetic Mahavishnu-style playing certainly catches the space-mood. Fast pace acid-fusion, broken up with some very beautiiful short piano pieces; definitely a forgotten gem.

Image: Polydor

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