Search - Return to Forever :: Musicmagic

Return to Forever
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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All Artists: Return to Forever
Title: Musicmagic
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Modern Postbebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074643468220

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CD Reviews

Songs Of Many Musical Shades
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 02/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After four highly successful albums of high powered fusion Return To Forever end up here without Lenny White and Al DiMeola,whose solo careers and session work made them too busy to work in the group context anymore. Of the original lineup on Stanley Clarke remained-the only member to be with the group from the very beginning to the very end. There is also a theory that RTF albums WERE essencialy Clarke/Corea albums with guest musicians but with people like Lenny,Al,Flora and the powerful contributions they made to the group over the years I find that hard to believe.On 'Musicmagic' RTF were in for more of a lineup change:Gayle Moran,singer,keyboard player and wife of Chick Corea himself is now a member-contributing the first vocals to be heard on an RTF album since the Light as a Feather days.On most of the songs she shares vocal duty with Clarke who,as I've already discussed is not the worlds most technically gifted singer to put it mildly. There is also a musical change on the horizon:the pyrotechical fusion sound that RTF had forged on it's previous albums,due mostly to the musicians great chemistry rather then displays of ego,is replaced by more coherent song structures and craft. Not only that but funky grooves,always a part of RTF's sound are emphasized over instrumental passges. Also of note is the addition of a big brass section to most of these songs. All this considered this "new" RTF,despite weak reviews is BY ALL MEANS as creative and stylistically clever as anything they ever recorded. The first three tracks "The Musician","Hello Again" and the title track all blend a great sense of R&B/funk with improvisation and pure experimentation:the vocals are a bit surreal to say the least (from BOTH Moran and Clarke) but everyone pulls together for a clever take on Mingus's "So Long Mickey Mouse"."Do You Ever" is another vocal piece,although softer and with more emphasis on the lyrics and "The Endless Night" harkens back to the bands previous "prog-rock/fusion" style but again the feeling is warmer and sudtle. Taken together as the swan song for RTF 'Musicmagic' borrows a little from both the first and second versions of the band to create what definately could've been a whole new direction for the group to presue. But after this album Chick Corea elected to discontinue the whole RTF band and simply concentrate on solo,session and live work. It sometimes makes me wonder what might've been with RTF had done if they'd soldiered on like Herbie Hancock or Mahavishnu Orchestra;you have to ask what would RTF have sounded like during the disco-jazz era and when the fusion genre was eclipsed by the electro hip-hop of the early 80's? Although it is by no means a shinning example Chick's 1986 recording The Elektric Band is about the closest I can think of to what RTF's sound might've morphed into had they survived into the mid 1980's. Even so we're left with this and we can only wonder."
J. C. Polach | Minnesota | 10/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is always disappointing for me to hear other reviewers of music turn the squelch on when a favorite performer decides to move off the beaten path and try something new. Of course Chick Corea is the man of electronic jazz fusion; however, Music Magic is a nice diversion that still satisfies the electric junkie while experimenting with the eclectic. You gotta love genius, and genius grows from infancy to adulthood like anyone. Thanks, Chick, for the romantic, enticing voice of Gayle Moran, and especially the smooth vocals of another musical genius, Stanley Clarke. A favorite cigarette or beer does not preclude the existence of other great cigarettes or beers."
A nice surprise
Mark T. Marzolino | Grand Rapids, Mi USA | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I read all the "approach with caution" notices about RTF's "Musicmagic", and after purchasing the cd, I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out, it's just Chick & Stanley pushing the envelope of sound a different way. No guitar; brass and vocals added. I would strike this as a combination of the 1972-73 RTF releases (Joe Farrell is back on this one), with a Miles Davis / latter-day 70's twist. A tip-top product."