Chick Corea Definitive Collection
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- Released: February 5, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Verve
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The titles that record companies come up with to indicate to consumers that an album is a compilation -- "Greatest Hits," "Best Of," "Gold," etc. -- can sometimes get them into trouble if the contents, for one reason or another, do not live up to the grandiose name. A case in point is Universal Music's series called The Definitive Collection. (Individual albums are released on the conglomerate's many subsidiary labels, this one appearing on the Verve imprint.) That's just asking for trouble. And the release of this name devoted to Chick Corea and Return to Forever is a case in point. The group had a four-album tenure on the Polydor label, now controlled by Universal, between 1972 and 1975, following a debut album on ECM and followed by several albums for Columbia Records. The earlier and later recordings by Return to Forever are not included on this disc, which restricts itself to selections from the four Polydor albums, Light as a Feather (1972), Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), Where Have I Known You Before (1974), and No Mystery (1975). Within that restriction, the choices are reasonable, and the disc has a generous running time of nearly 76 minutes. The listener gets a good sense of the band's evolution from its Latin beginnings to its mature fusion style. But, lacking anything from Return to Forever albums like Romantic Warrior, it simply cannot (or should not, anyway) be called The Definitive Collection. ~ William Ruhlmann
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