FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RETURN TO FOREVER IV, THE LATEST VERSION OF THE INNOVATIVE JAZZ/ROCK ENSEMBLE, KICKS OFF ITS 2011 WORLD TOUR WITH AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND DATES
The dynamic electro-acoustic band features RTF’s core players – keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White — with new members Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Frank Gambale on guitar
Sydney, Australia (3 December 2010)—Return to Forever is back again. This time with the Roman numeral four attached to its name: RTF IV. And with good reason. This is the fourth installment of the remarkable ensemble that started it all in the early ‘70s. Many RTF fans would argue that IV is potentially the best, with the core group of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White and the stellar playing of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and guitarist Frank Gambale.
It’s easy to understand that perspective. The new RTF members bring an even broader creative overview to the legendary RTF jazz/rock/fusion sound. In addition to his work with Corea’s Elektric Band, Gambale’s fast-fingered sweep-picking style has been a standout with former Journey drummer Steve Smith’s Vital Information and numerous other highly acclaimed projects. And Ponty has plenty of legendary credentials, as well, with his own immensely successful bands, his groundbreaking work with Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin’s great Mahavishnu Orchestra.
When RTF IV takes to the road with a tour of Gambale’s native Australia in February, this remarkable assemblage will apply its extraordinary musical firepower to such classic RTF works as Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, while exploring compositions written specifically for the latest line-up.
Despite his perpetually busy schedule, Corea is looking forward to the great possibilities awaiting RTF IV on the 2011 tours.
“On the last tour that we did in 2008, the only tune we played from Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy was the title track,” he says. “With this version of the band, we’d like to revisit more of that music, but it’ll have this new twist. It’s a new day. I already have a few ideas about rearranging a little bit within the pieces. And of course, the addition of Jean-Luc is going to give it a whole other sound.”
White and Clarke, each of whom has written music for RTF IV, are equally enthusiastic. For White, the make-up of the new lineup promises an opportunity to accomplish his desire to “put the rock back into jazz-rock.”
Clarke, fully in agreement, expresses his anticipation somewhat more succinctly: “It’s a total update, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
There’s never been another jazz group that has morphed through as many incarnations – each an extraordinary accomplishment in its own right — as Return to Forever.
The first installment of RTF, assembled by Chick in 1972, featured the atmospheric presence of the husband and wife team of percussionist Airto Moreira, and a distinctly Brazilian tone.
In the mid-‘70s, RTF II made a dramatic, tremendously successful leap into the supercharged electric sounds of jazz rock and fusion, with the rhythm team of Clarke and White providing the high voltage for Corea’s keyboards and Bill Connors’ guitar. In 1974, with Al DiMeola replacing Connors, RTF began a high visibility run with 1975’s Grammy-winning No Mystery and the chart-topping Romantic Warrior.
The third edition of RTF took a different slant in the late ‘70s, via the presence of saxophonist and flautist Joe Farrell, a six piece horn section and the singing of Gayle Moran (who subsequently married Corea).
Return to Forever IV takes the familiar brand name into the most adventurous musical territory of all, as they cross Australia, introducing the world to a new, irresistibly compelling vision of jazz. Every Return to Forever IV performance will be—as RTF’s performances always have been—a night to remember.
Chick Corea Productions