Native Australian Guitar Virtuoso Joins Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White; Violin Legend Jean-Luc Ponty Also On Board
Frank Gambale, a native of Canberra and one of the most universally acclaimed guitarists in any genre, returns to his homeland in Feb. 2011 as the newest member of Return to Forever.
Return to Forever, jazz-rock’s venerable pioneering outfit, has chosen to debut its progressive, dynamic new lineup on a six-city tour of Australia in February 2011. Chick Corea (keyboards), Stanley Clarke (bass) and Lenny White (drums) now add guitar legend Gambale and former Mahavishnu Orchestra member Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), for possibly the most spectacular incarnation of one of the most influential bands of all time.
The Australian shows will be the opening lap of a planned world tour, continuing in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan in Summer 2011.
The quintet arrangement is an unprecedented and energizing new venture for Return to Forever, which had a seismic impact on jazz in the 1970s, selling out arenas with high-energy electric music.
The twin elements of Gambale’s sweep-picking melodic inventiveness and Ponty’s relentless explorations will add unanticipated new dimensions to RTF’s signature sound.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to play with Chick, Stanley, Lenny and Jean-Luc,” Gambale said. “These guys have all had a profound effect on the musician and guitarist I am today. I will definitely savor the experience.”
Corea, a 16-time Grammy winner, lauded his longtime musical partner:
“An important aspect of Return to Forever is the role of the guitar, and the man that fits the bill, I’m very excited to say, is Frank Gambale. [He] is one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet.”
Gambale’s long association with Corea began in 1986, when he joined Corea’s Elektric Band, adding his peerless technique to seven increasingly ambitious albums resulting in one Grammy win (GRP Super Live, recorded in Tokyo) and two Grammy nominations (Inside Out, Beneath The Mask).
Gambale propelled sweep picking to a precise art form and highly-specialized technique, now standard in the guitar lexicon. The “Gambale Sweep Picking Technique” and the “Gambale Tuning” continue to inspire generations of musicians. Jazz, rock, metal and prog artists are united in their awe of Frank both as an amazing technician, musician and composer.
His meteoric rise to fame is a testament to his passion-powered playing—a style Rolling Stone calls “ferocious”!