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Return To Forever

Return To Forever Reunite

By Paul Cashmere
Mon, 25 Feb 2008 09:01:07 +1100

Return To Forever, one of the great jazz bands of the 70s, is getting back together.

Return To Forever is best described as The Beatles of Jazz. The members, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea and Lenny White, all went on to solo stardom.

The idea for the reunion happened a few years ago. "It was something that we started having a conversation about 4 years ago," bass player Stanley Clarke tells Undercover News. "There was a promoter in Germany that made an offer to us. Even though it produced some contension between the four of us, it at least got us to talk".

"We started talking and all of a sudden someone came up with the idea that it would be nice if we got back together again. It took us a couple of years".

"After a meeting Chick and me had in France, it became a reality and we actually rehearsed 4 or 5 days. After 2 weeks ago we ended 4 weeks of rehearsing. We got a studio and pulled out all of the old music and ran through it just to see what was there and remember it all and see if all the guys could see play. I am happy to say the band sounds better now than it did then".

Return To Forever plan on doing a lot of shows. "Our first concert is on June 1st and we are going to play 50 concerts until the end of August," Clarke says. "We are going to play June in the States and Europe in July and some big concerts in August. Then, if all goes well and we still like each other, we'll do some more".

So, why did they break up? "I think if you use the Beatles as a model for how bands break up, that was the most visible band break-ups," he says. "It was the first time you noticed it in the press. It is really a money, power, control, sometimes sex and women thing. I think every band breaks up for the same reason. I don't think bands break up because the sun shines too much or I don't like the guitar you are playing. It is usually something deeper like power, money is always there. And sometimes every now and then, bands just stop. In our case, it was a little bit of everything".

Before Return To Forever reform, Clarke will visit Australia for BluesFest and the Point Nepean Festival with George Duke.

The Clarke/Duke Project will play:

March 20, Byron Bay, BluesFest
March 22, Sydney, Opera House
March 24, Melbourne, Prince of Wales

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