Return to Forever

My housemate and I have just watched Return to Forever: Returns, which he bought me for Christmas. We got into RTF late last year after I discovered Romantic Warrior in my music collection. I thought I’d take a moment to express how incredibly amazing these guys are. The music ranges from the sublime to the mental, and all the while it’s so incredibly complicated and well executed that us mere mortals have no chance. It’s things like this that make me wish I’d spent longer learning guitar properly (why oh why did I choose Computer Science?!).

Off the back of this I’ve ordered Al Di Meola – A Guide to Chords, Scales and Arpeggios, which, I’m hoping, is likely to become my musical bible.

Here’s a clip from the DVD of them performing The Dual of the Jester and the Tyrant. Enjoy!

Comments ( 3 )
  • lamby says:

    I love Al’s playing but I always get the impression he’s playing slightly out of tune, even on his newer studio-oriented CDs (ie. not just the RtF stuff which has quite a “live” feel to it).

    It may be completely deliberate–a number of musicians do this but–I’ve seen a couple of his videos but he never mentions anything about it. Any ideas?

  • Griff says:

    I’ve not noticed it on his newer stuff if I’m honest, though I haven’t listened as intently to that as I have the older RtF music, where I agree he does sometimes sound a bit out. I can only assume that it is deliberate. Unless he favours recording live and prefers the honesty of a few bum notes over a 100% accurate recording taken from hundreds of takes. Of course, I’ve no real idea – and I can’t imagine any interviewer would be brave enough to ask him just incase…

  • lamby says:

    There is a section in “Flight Of The Newborn” that illustrates what I mean, starting at about 0’53 all the way to about 5’00 when Chick takes over, solo-wise. Note how he gets sharper in the off-the-cuff solo passages to cut through a bit better (an old trick of concerto players). His build-up solo over the vamp in “Song To The Pharoah Kings” is perhaps a more subtle (and successful, <3) illustration.

    Perhaps I shouldn't have structured my observation as "I like X but Y" – it's one of the more endearing qualities of his playing, especially considering that nobody else seems to be experimenting with pitch in the guitar scene 🙁

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