Return To Forever — the pioneering jazz/rock fusion supergroup — will return to the live concert stage for the first time in thirty years this summer. The world tour will include all four members of what most jazz/rock fusion fans agree was the group's "classic lineup" of the 1970s.
As confirmed on the Return To Forever website, keyboardist Chick Corea, guitarist Al DiMeola, bassist Stanley Clarke, and drummer Lenny White are all on board for the summer tour.
The fifty or so dates will begin in the United States on May 29, with a two-night stand in Austin, TX, before heading to Europe in July and then back to America for a string of dates that will last through the summer. Return To Forever's concerts will include everything from intimate theatre shows, to appearances at the biggest summer jazz festivals such as Montreux and at Nice.
In the 1970s, Return To Forever was one of the most popular and respected groups in the world who specialized in what was then widely referred to as "fusion" — a hybrid of rock, funk, and jazz styles. In terms of combining both critical and commercial success, RTF was probably matched by only two other so-called "fusion" groups, Joe Zawinul's Weather Report and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Originally formed as a vehicle for the already highly respected jazz keyboardist Corea (as featured on earlier albums like Light As A Feather), the addition of DiMeola, Clarke, and White soon led to the more decidedly fusion flavor of albums like Where Have I Known You Before? and No Mystery for Polydor Records. Even so, both of these releases continued to bill RTF as Chick Corea's band.
When the other musicians — particularly Clarke and DiMeola — began to receive equal notice, and the albums began selling unusually well for jazz releases, they were soon signed to Columbia Records. The album Romantic Warrior followed, with the artists now billed simply as Return To Forever. That album has long since gone on to be recognized as a fusion classic. DiMeola, Clarke, and White eventually would all release well received solo albums of their own.
To coincide with this summer's reunion tour, Return To Forever will release a two-CD anthology featuring songs from the four classic albums: Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I Known You Before?, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior. The concerts will also concentrate on material from these four albums.
Ticket information for the summer tour was unavailable as this article went to press. For that, we suggest checking RTF's website regularly.
Here are Return To Forever's Tour Dates:
29-30 Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
31 Houston, TX – Verizon Wireless Center
1 Dallas, TX – Nokia Theater at Grand Prairie
3 Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
4 Salt Lake City, UT – Kingsbury Hall
6 Portland, OR – Schnitzer Concert Hall
7 Medford, OR – Britt Music Festival
8 Seattle, WA – The Paramount
9 Vancouver, BC – The Centre in Vancouver For Performing Arts
11-12 San Francisco, CA – The Grand At The Regency Center (2 shows/night)
13 Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre
14 Phoenix, AZ – Dodge Theatre
17 St Louis, MO – Fox Theatre
18 Omaha, NE – Holland Performing Arts Center
19 Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theatre
20 Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre
21 Detroit, MI – Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
22 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
24 Cleveland, OH – The Plain Dealer Pavilion
25 Toronto, Canada – Sony Centre
26 Ottawa, Canada – Ottawa Jazz Festival/Confederation Park
27 Montreal, Canada – Pelletier Hall/Place Des Arts
28 Saratoga Springs, NY – Freihofer's Jazz Festival
2 Vilnius, Lithuania – Utenos Arena
4 Warsaw, Poland – Congress Hall
5 Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Arena
6 Belgrade, Serbia – Belgrade Arena
8 Paris, France – Olympia Hall
9 Vienne, France – Vienne Jazz Festival
10 Madrid, Spain – Via Jazz Festival
11 Girona, Spain – Cap Roig Festival
12 Lorca, Spain
13 Valencia, Spain
16 Neuhardenberg, Germany
18 Montreux, Switzerland – Montreux Jazz Festival
19 Essen, Germany – Grugahalle
21 London, England – Indigo2
23 Nice, France – Nice Jazz Festival
25 San Sebastian, Spain
30 Miami, FL – The Fillmore Miami Beach
31 Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
1 Orlando, FL – House Of Blues
2 Atlanta, GA – Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
4 Baltimore, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center For The Performing Arts – w/ Béla Fleck and The Flecktones
6 Boston, MA – Bank Of America Pavilion – w/ Béla Fleck and The Flecktones
7 New York, NY – United Palace