CLARKE AND WHITE EXPLORE THE ROOTS
OF RETURN TO FOREVER ON NEW 2-CD SET
album Forever out June 7, 2011;
Includes jazz trio standards, updated RTF-classics, new music
disc features special guests Chaka Khan, Jean-Luc Ponty
and original Return to Forever guitarist Bill Connors
continues from the music page ...
After reclaiming the jazz-rock world in 2008 with the triumphant
return of Return to Forever, Corea, Clarke and White decided to
revisit where it all began, to get back to basics and the soul
of their relationship. The result is Forever (CRE-32627-02), a
two-CD set of 18 quintessential tunes set for release June 7,
2011 on Concord Jazz, a division of Concord Music Group.
live, disc one of Forever is a best-of sampler from Corea, Clarke
and White's "RTF-Unplugged" world tour in 2009. Highlights
include jazz standards "On Green Dolphin Street," "Waltz
for Debby" and "Hackensack," exquisite Corea-classics
"Bud Powell" and "Windows," Clarke's beautiful
new "La Canción de Sofia" and even RTF pieces
"Señor Mouse" and "No Mystery."
sets we played were basically jam sessions of the standards we
knew from the songbooks of Monk, Bill Evans, Miles and others,"
says Corea, an NEA Jazz Master, 17-time GRAMMY® winner, prolific
composer and undisputed keyboard virtuoso. "Also included
are some pieces from the Return to Forever songbook reworked in
this acoustic setting."
acoustic trio had not been documented up to this point,"
explains White, an innovative and versatile drummer/producer/composer.
"It was important to document this because that's how we
started. On the last day of our Keystone Korner gig in 1973 in
San Francisco, we had two guitarists sit in, and it became electric.
But we come from playing in the jazz tradition. RTF had a real
jazz rhythm section, and I think that's what distinguishes RTF
from all the other groups."
the piano, the acoustic bass and small-sized drums were our original
instruments," Corea says. "No matter how much experimentation
gets done on the electric instruments, this acoustic sound is
what we grew up loving and where our roots are and always have
is a bonus CD with its own story. To help kick off their tour
in grand style, Corea, Clarke and White invited vocal great Chaka
Khan, violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty and original Return to Forever
guitarist Bill Connors to join them for a one-time only gig at
the famed Hollywood Bowl in LA.
reunites with his former RTF bandmates on several compositions
from their groundbreaking Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy album, including
Corea's "Señor Mouse" and "Space Circus,"
and Clarke's "After the Cosmic Rain."
contributions to the bonus CD are substantial. He performs on
five tracks, including a long-overdue reunion with Corea and Clarke
on "Armando's Rhumba," which he first performed on Corea's
1976 album, My Spanish Heart. In addition to joining Corea, Clarke,
White and Connors on the RTF cuts, he offers a breathtaking version
of his fusion hit "Renaissance."
Khan's appearance marks a special highlight - a reprise of the
1982 recording Echoes of an Era, a collection of straight-ahead
jazz with performances from Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson,
along with Corea, Clarke and White (also produced by White). Khan's
amazing vocal chops, heard with her jazz-standard partners in
this extraordinary setting, are stunningly demonstrated on a beautiful
version of Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy" and the Corea-penned
"High Wire - The Aerialist."
for the Hollywood Bowl gig were recorded at Mad Hatter Studios
in Los Angeles. The vibe is relaxed, complete with studio banter,
laughter, screaming and even Chaka meeting Jean-Luc for the first
time in the studio. Pushing the bonus CD over the top is the final
track - an amazing version of Corea's classic "500 Miles
High," which was recorded on the Corea, Clarke and White
trio tour at the Monterey Jazz Festival
was real magic," says renowned bassist, composer, and producer
Clarke. "We hadn't seen each other for a long time, and we
have a lot of history at Mad Hatter. Later, Lenny took the tapes
and mixed them with GRAMMY®-winning recording engineer Al
Schmitt. We originally didn't intend to put this material out,
but it sounded so great that we wanted to share this with our
was produced by White and co-produced by Corea and Clarke. "I
didn't have to do a lot," says White. "These guys are
icons and the chemistry was great, so it was pretty simple. I
have always enjoyed producing, and I've been involved with these
guys as far back as Romantic Warrior."
is clearly an extension of the long-term relationships that were
established in the 1970s with Return to Forever. According to
Clarke, another electric RTF tour is in the works, featuring Corea,
Clarke, White, Connors and Ponty. "This is actually the fourth
version of Return to Forever," Clarke says. "It's come
full circle with Bill coming back and the addition of Jean-Luc.
After release, we're doing an RTF IV tour to go out and support
the new CD. It's a total update, and it's going to be a lot of