Forever returning to Return to Forever

Corea, center, says the real adventure is in second-guessing his Return Forever IV bandmates.

Even though Chick Corea began playing with some of the musicians in Return to Forever IV nearly 40 years ago, the pianist says he is still never sure where their collective improvisations will take them.

“The adventure is always second-guessing one another, that’s part of the jazz game,” he says. “The songs that we do are just sort of like jumping off points.”

The band has evolved in fits and starts, honing their collective skills in everything from Latin grooves and fusion to acoustic jazz, with a few elongated periods of silence abating their output, but Corea says they are always able to pick up where they left off.

“There’s change always but there’s a constant factor, which is the musician himself, and the friendships that we formulated, and the taste in music that we still have,” he says, with a touch of a jazzman’s Zen in his voice. “All of those things are part of the personality and it’s what makes a great relationship. Change occurs naturally and all the time, and even on this one tour we’re always sorting things out and trying different stuff every night — that’s part of the way it goes.”

Scientology mystery

Since the Internet is often rife with mistruths, we questioned Corea on these two sentences we read on Wikipedia: After [Return to Forever’s 1977 album] “Musicmagic,” Chick Corea officially disbanded the group. While the reasons for his doing so are speculative, Stanley Clarke’s having left the Church of Scientology is believed to have been a major factor.

“We just had a period of doing our own solo thing, it had nothing to do with Scientology,” says the pianist. “I don’t know how that got in the mix. That’s newspaper stuff. They love the controversy. You know, decades went by and we had some contact, but we didn’t do a lot of projects together. But gee, the old spirit was in full force and more when we got together recently. “

Fans are wondering if there will ever be a new album from the jazz greats in Return to Forever IV, which also includes bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White, guitarist Frank Gambale and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

“I’ve written about 10 new pieces, and Stanley’s got a handful of them and Lenny’s got some new stuff,” says Corea, “but we just have not had the opportunity to work it in. We have a short hour-and-a-half set — or sometimes two hours, depending on the venue — and just the basic material that we’re playing from the old days tends to run long. So we’ve got this music sitting there and we’re kind of tossing around ideas of what to do with it.”

Mexican Institute of Sound
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston

The ICA’s “DJs on the Harbor” series continues with a performance by the Mexico City-based project of DJ and producer Camilo Lara that mixes traditional Latin American rhythms with modern electronica and hip-hop. Lara loves drawing samples from disparate sources; one of his favorite gold mines is the work of mid-20th century Mexican lounge composer Juan Garcia Esquivel.

Ke$ha
with LMFAO
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Bank of America Pavilion
290 Northern Ave., Boston

The “Get $leazy” tour ushers in a new era, where $ymbols take the pl@ce of letters and letters don’t spell w0rds, fulfilling the dreams of tweens and lazy college kids alike. LOL  BRB :) METRO


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