With one of the most successful tours of 2008 behind it—and the two-CD set Returns (Eagle Records, 2009) released to document the event—the reunion of fusion powerhouse Return to Forever—keyboardist Chick Corea, guitarist Al Di Meola, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White—appeared to be over. No surprise, however, that the group's triumphant performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival was also recorded, and now sees release a year after the tour began. Impeccably recorded with a multi-camera crew, and featuring a number of audio options, it's the perfect document of a tour that brought unexpected mass popularity back to fusion.
Bulldozer returns! This is the band's fifth album, and the first one since 1988's 'Neurodeliri.' Expect nothing but fast and furious thrash with the band's always-intriguing lyrical concepts. Features a couple unpredictable guest appearances with the likes of Billy Sheehan and Jennifer Batten. With a song title like "Buried Alive By Thrash," how can you not already love it?
Mongo returns – to the Fantasy label group, not the scene, from which he had never been missing in action. Yet in another sense, it is a return to the basic Mongo Santamaria Afro-Cuban-rooted sound and concept – with a few contemporary elements – that the ageless leader had been employing ever since he stopped trying to chase after hits. Marty Sheller continues to turn out the charts; in addition to three of his own tunes, he gratefully revives two unusual overlooked '70s gems, Stevie Wonder's "You've Got It Bad, Girl" and Marvin Gaye's "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" in his old boogaloo manner.