1977's Musicmagic is jazz fusion group Return to Forever's seventh and final studio album and one of the finest recordings to come out of the genre. Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke serve as the only remaining founding members here although Joe Farell returned to the line-up for the recording as well. It's also the band's first album since 1972's Light As A Feather to feature vocals.
The sound is remarkably more orchestral than anything the group had previously done, a cross between fusion, jazz vocals, big band and grassroots acoustic jazz. Musicmagic celebrates the pure joy of music with contributions from Corea ("The Musician"), Gayle Moran ("Do You Ever"), Corea/Moran ("Musicmagic," "The Endless Night") and Clarke ("Hello Again" and the album's single greatest moment, "So Long Mickey Mouse," offering particularly great spots for Farrell's flute and soprano, Corea's keyboard kaleidoscope and Clarke's entrancing bass).
Musicmagic is eclectic, adventurous and a wonderful swan song for Return To Forever. It not only climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard Jazz chart but it also proved that the new Return to Forever line-up was just as accomplished if not more than earlier configurations of the influential group.
Chick Corea, keyboards
Stanley Clarke, electric & acoustic bass, vocals
Gayle Moran, vocals, piano, organ
Joe Farrell, saxophone, flute
Gerry Brown, drums
James E. Pugh / Harold Garret, trombone
John Thomas, trumpet, flugelhorn
James Tinsley, trumpet, piccolo
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