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Return to Forever – Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola and Lenny White

When I heard the sad news of the passing of Chick Corea, the leader of Return to Forever, it felt like I had just lost a part of my childhood. Back in the 1970’s, while I was a college student, Return to Forever was quite possibly my favorite artist. I had all of their albums and I went to see them perform live 3-4 times. In fact I loved the group so much that I later on in life, I took the name “earthjuice” as my email address , in honor of one of my favorite songs my them. I could actually write quite a bit about Return to Forever, but I will save it. Right now it is far more important to hear what Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Al Di Meola have to say about Chick Corea

–Bob Davis

0:01​ Earth Juice 3:46​ Where Have I Known You Before 6:05​ Song To The Pharoah Kings

“I want to thank all my friends who reached out with condolences who knew that Chick was like a brother to me. We shared many many stages, recording studios, and our passion for Jazz and “Mama Corea’s Beef Cutlets”…..but what really created the bond between us was our similar beliefs in the power of the individual to create the most beautiful and inspiring art, “the great healer,” for people. We sure had fun sprinkling that magic all over the world!!
I will miss doing that with him.”
“He was the best all around musician that I’ve ever stood shoulder to shoulder with. I will miss standing next to him on the stage as much as many of you who have had the pleasure to stand with him. “
“And to all his fans his impact in musical art was of such a great magnitude that it will be impossible to lose sight of him. His spirit is always with us.”
“I love you Chick and I know your doing just fine… Travel well my friend and very very well done…
–Stanley Clarke

The great Chick Corea has left this life but the incredible music he gave us and the meaningful memories will live on in my mind forever. Joining Return to Forever was for me a dream come true. Chick was my favorite musician and RTF was my favorite band when I was 19 years old. It was a non stop groundbreaking musical journey. We were at the forefront of a new idiom called Jazz-Rock Fusion along with WEATHER REPORT and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. An extremely exciting time the mid 70’s were! Thank you, dear Chick for the legacy you gave to the world and for believing in me and giving me the chance to play with you, my hero! Rest In Peace
–Al Di Meola

It’s taken me some time to process the loss of my dear friend Chick Corea. This is because of what he means to everybody else. What his status has become and how he’s touched and shaped society. The world has changed, because there are so many smaller more personal worlds that have been affected. A pillar has fallen in the creative music universe. I’ve known Chick for 52 years. We made ground breaking music with Miles Davis, then he asked me to be in his band some 4 years later. And that’s when he gave me an opportunity to grow and define myself, along with Stanley, Billy and Al. But we were all defining ourselves and each other as we negotiated Chick’s new musical vehicles. Communication was Chick’s goal and I was learning how to do it on many different levels. Speaking, composing, musicianship combined with how to function as a Band in society. We became men, learning about each other through this musical journey created by Chick Corea. He became part of my family, and he invited me into his. His mom and dad were so encouraging and supportive. Endless enthusiasm, boundless inspiration are qualities those that have been fortunate to work with Chick get to experience. I was fortunate to take the seeds that Chick planted in me to grow my own gardens and invite Chick to bring his personal special plants to create unique, special collaborative musical gardens. I thank you Chick Corea for giving me the opportunity to inspire friends that I never have met and to continue to inspire those that I have. You’ve left a musical legacy that is infinite. I’m happy to be a part of it. You are irreplaceable .Your spirit is what is will awaken us out of this sleep…
–Lenny White

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