When the jazz supergroup Return To Forever first reunited in 2008, it was with the well-known quartet of keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Jordan, percussionist Lenny White and guitarist Al DiMeola — and for touring purposes only.
But Corea is optimistic that this year’s edition of RTF, with Frank Gambale on guitar and Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, could become a recording concern.
“There’s brand new music that Stanley (Clarke) has written and I’ve written, mainly,” says the 70-year-old musician and bandleader, who toured with Clarke and White during the interim. Included in the repertoire are a flamenco-style song called “Planet Chia,” the Clarke- composed “New York” and Ponty’s “Dream Revelations” which, according to Corea, “sounds like it’s got these Debussylike chords, but it’s a real Jean-Luc, melodic, slow groove, and it’s a nice complement to what we’re doing.”
Recording plans for the group that’s been dubbed RTF IV aren’t set in stone, however. “As most bands are, it’s a work in progress,” Corea explains. “We just want to see how the whole thing develops. There’s a lot of possibilities of how to bring recordings around these days, so we’ll see what what’s the best way to get our message out there.”
As for DiMeola not taking part in this tour, Corea says that after the 2008 trek, “I think we sort of musically thought it was a nice time to take a break and go different ways. Al’s got his great music that he’s making with his bands, and it was time for a little space to occur.”
Return To Forever IV and Zappa Plays Zappa perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $45 and $35 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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