Return To Forever released one of the best jazz fusion/progressive rock albums of all time in 1976. Romantic Warrior featured the stellar musicianship of Chick Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Dimeola on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. The all instrumental record had only 6 tracks, but each featured intense displays of musical virtuosity, strong melodic themes, and great group chemistry. Dual Of The Jester And The Tyrant was the one I played the most, with ripping guitar and bass solos trading off in one mind-boggling section, a long and sublime synthesizer solo by Corea, and some drumming by White that punched holes in the walls. The title track was another long one, but it was all acoustic instruments and although more quiet overall, still pretty intense in the solos and intricate unison patterns. Instrumental music isn’t for everyone, but musicians tend to really enjoy it (at least I do). Romantic Warrior is superb for what it is, and it stands as a benchmark for its particular genre.
Written By Braddon S. Williams