Return to Forever

Born Armando Corea on June 12, 1941 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the acclaimed jazz and fusion keyboardist was better known by his nickname Chick Corea. Learning to play the piano at the age of four, Chick Corea cut his teeth by working with Stan Getz and Herbie Mann and became a key member of Miles Davis' group, playing on the legendary albums Filles de Kilimanjaro (1968) and Bitches Brew (1969), which helped take jazz into an ever more avant-garde, free-form and psychedelic territory. He formed the Brazilian/Latin inspired group Return to Forever in 1972 alongside Flora Purim (vocals/percussion), Airto Moreira (drums), Joe Farrell (saxophone), and Stanley Clarke (bass). While the band was initially formed to play Latin-influenced music, after their second album in 1973, Purim, Moreira, and Farrell left the band and Return to Forever evolved into one of the most influential jazz fusion bands in history. Between 1973 and 1977, the group released an additional five albums, winning their first Grammy for their 1975 album No Mystery. Their catalog features critically successful albums such as Romantic Warrior (1976), Musicmagic (1977), and Live (1978). The band split in 1977 although they did reunite on occasion over the next four decades. Later line-ups of the band were featured on live albums released in 2009 and 2012. During the band’s career, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke remained the only constant members with Joe Farrell appearing on most of their albums. Other members that passed through the band’s ranks included Lenny White (drums), Al Di Meola (guitar), Earl Klugh (guitar), Steve Gadd (drums), Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), Frank Gambale (guitar), and others. Chick Corea died of cancer on February 9, 2021.

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