Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Return To Forever: No Mystery

In 1975 while listening to Harry Abraham’s jazz show on WHAM, he played a song that he attributed to “Return to Forever,” but didn’t name the tune. So I attempted to find this song which was titled “Crystal Silence” not knowing that it had not been released in the US at the time. My first attempt at finding this particular recording was to purchase the “No Mystery” album by Return to Forever.

While the song wasn’t on this album, I grew to love this jazz-fusion recording that featured the classic line-up of the band: Chick Corea on keyboards, Lenny White on drums and percussion, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Al Di Meola on guitar.

My favorite cut off of that entire album was its title cut “No Mystery.” It features tasty licks from this jazz quartet that still makes be envious of their individual and collective talents. I had a keyboard player, Mike Medley, from Louisville teach me the hook run from this song and I still have the rudimentary chart he wrote out for me in the spring of 1977.

This 2008 live recording reunites this lineup at the Montreux Jazz Festival doing this classic Return to Forever tune. Even more impressive than hearing what these four can do, seeing is believing.

As for the tune “Crystal Silence,” it took me two more tries to find the album featuring the original lineup of the band. After learning the title, I found it on a Chick Corea/Gary Burton album – it was a nice arrangement, but not the original. Nevertheless, the quest allowed me to explore some albums I never would have had I known the title from the very beginning.

The Original Studio Version


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