Return to Forever: Returns – Live at Montreux

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Return To Forever were at the forefront of jazz/rock fusion in the seventies and like their contemporaries Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra were formed by a former Miles Davis sideman, in this case the great Chick Corea. Return To Forever hit their commercial and artistic peak with a string of albums in the mid-seventies featuring the line-up of Chick Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on guitar and Lenny White on drums. In 2008 this classic line… More >>

Return to Forever: Returns – Live at Montreux

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  1. The amazon review states:

    >Return To Forever hit their commercial and artistic peak with a string of albums in the mid-seventies featuring the line-up of Chick Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on guitar

    This is utterly false.

    The band was at its prime on the first eponymous LP, with Airto, Joe Farrell and Flora Purim, and Stanley Clarke on acoustic bass. The follow-up ‘Light as a Feather’ might be considered a peak, but I think the first album was actually a tad superior.

    The band, and each member, has lost steam steadily since ‘Light as a Feather’, most notably Stanley Clarke who is the most gifted musician on acoustic bass – why he ever took up the electric bass and wasted his energy is beyond me (a bassist). Stanley can still play upright, as well as he ever did, but mostly he chooses not to.

    As for Chick, the comparison with the first two LPs is really almost tragic. His every note on those classic LPs was almost miraculous; the same song ‘500 Miles High’ on this recording is very sad indeed – just a bunch of bashing that lacks all of the genius of the original.

    We all have our peaks and this sad decline does not take away anything from the brilliance of the original group, with Airto and Flora. Al Di Meola is an afterthought.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. This blu-ray has an amazing video, and an incredible well captured sound. Listen to the Lenny White’s drum solo … can you imagine a better and more natural sound of a drum kit? I tought it was on Jeff Beck’s blu-ray, great sound, but the drums of RTF is in your room. The only instrument I think could have a better sound is the Stanley Clark’s bass … This better sound of a bass player is in Jeff Beck’s blu-ray! I am a litlle sad with RTF because there is no one of the great eletric songs of the album No Mistery !
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. As an RTF fan since childhood and fusion junkie in general, I bought this Blu-ray DVD with high hopes. The performances are very good and would be brilliant if not for the poor quality of the mix. An almost total lack of bass drum attack robs the performances of their “tightness”. The dense odd-meter passages require the outline and definition only a properly mic’d and mixed drum kit can provide. Lenny White is fun to watch, but you really cannot hear his expressive playing adequately. The whole show falls flat for me as a result and certainly does not exploit the benefits a Blu-ray production should deliver. Check out the “Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott’s” Blu-ray DVD for an incredible example of sound engineering that complements the performance.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. The first thing that people said when they entered the room and this was playing: “It’s sounds live”. It does, yet never in a harsh way. Kudos to the engineers!

    Many reviewers here describe the incredible talent and delivery of these 4 amazing musicians. Each one is a musical powerhouse in his own right. Together, they create a magical and very special performance. The precision and speed are amazing – yet it still has soul and beauty, especially the more accoustic pieces. The sense of humor embedded in the music is a joy as well. Lots of unexpected twists and breathtaking virtuosity. Suffice it to say that in terms of the material, the musicians, and the delivery, this DVD rocks!

    The video quality puts you in the concert – stunning. I like that the editors did not try to fabricate excitement (as they do in too many rock concerts) with a million edits. They focus on where the main action is coming from and don’t dart from one scene to another. This allows you to really follow the music like you would at the concert and relax into what the musicians are trying to impart. Picture is incredibly crisp for a concert especially – that’s seems hard to accomplish in low light based on other concert DVD’s I have.

    Sound: The DTS HD takes advantage of a great recording. I have other Blurays that don’t have great sound – so it seems that even if the media’s great, it will still suffer if the original recording is not great. Here, the original recording must have been handled well; sound is live, dynamic, clear, crisp, yet nice and full and rich. I found that the bass was more clear when I turned the sub down a bit – for some reason, the sub level on DTS master audio seems higher than on SD. With that (and I have some accoustic room treatment that really helps with bass), the sound, from top to bottom, is one of the best, if not the best, of any DVD concert DVD I own (I own about 25 of the best concert DVD’s I know of- they range in SQ from stellar to barely listenable).

    The solos, and the sound quality of the solos, and the video quality are worth the price of admission alone.

    If you’re into actively listening to music, and you like this genre, buy this and don’t look back! You’ll love it forever! Highly highly recommended. It’s in my top 5 concert DVD’s of all time, and that’s saying a lot – I’m into this stuff! This is one you’ll want in your library…
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. buy this disc!! every hair bag band you listened to as a kid in the 70’s were listening to this stuff, and using it as a base for thier crappy 3chord stuff!!even good groups from then, this is what they were listening to. As professors of music, there is not much better out there!!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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