Saturday, February 13, 2021

February 13th, 2021 - Chick Corea Returning To Forever


Good evening!  With the very sad news of jazz great Chick Corea's passing this week, I thought I would pay homage with a pairing of "The Best Of Return To Forever" and a Maduro Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing Company!

Album Info: 

  • Artist: Return To Forever
  • Title: "The Best Of Return To Forever"
  • Recorded: 1975 through 1983 at various studios and live venues
  • Release date: 1985 ("best of" compilation album by Return To Forever)
  • Record company: Columbia Records
  • Production: Chick Corea 
  • Album cover art: David Gahr (photography) and Paula Scher (design) 
  • Personnel: Stanley Clarke (bass), Chick Corea (keyboards, Moog synthesizer, and piano), Al Di Meola (guitars), and Lenny White (drums) 
  • Additional musicians: Joe Farrell (horns and wind instruments), Steve Gadd (drums), Gayle Moran (vocals), and Jim Pugh (trombone)
  • Musical style: Jazz fusion with elements of post-bop and progressive rock
  • Sound: Blending upbeat bop-style jazz with progressive rock elements, Return To Forever was a truly original band with an original and unique sound!  Each musician was insanely talented and fed off of each other's prowess.  Standouts for me are Corea's amazing compositions and his magical keys along with the guitar acrobatics of virtuoso Di Meola! 
  • Major themes: Most of the album is instrumental so the meaning of the tracks is open to interpretation.  However, there do seem to be a few themes that include: music, life, love, and magic, etc.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "The Musician"
  2. "The Romantic Warrior"
  3. "So Long Mikey Mouse"
  4. "Majestic Dance"
  5. "Music Magic"
  6. "Hello Again"
  7. "Sorceress"

    Brew Info:

  • Brewery: Cigar City Brewing Company (Tampa, Florida)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Maduro Brown Ale
  • Style: English Brown Ale  
  • Serving: 12 ounce can
  • ABV: 5.5% 
  • IBUs: 25 
  • Pour: The Maduro pours a deep, dark brown (almost ink black) with a firm and creamy, 2-finger, mocha head with great retention and lots of sticky lacing.
  • Nose: Named for a cigar style, the Maduro's nose is rich and malty, sweet, earthy, slightly smoky, and chocolatey.  There are aromas of rich tobacco, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, oak, sweet toffee, roasted walnuts, dark toasted bread, and freshly ground espresso coffee beans. 
  • Taste: Malt forward, the taste of the Maduro follows the nose with lots of chunky caramel and semi-sweet chocolate notes along with roasted almonds, roasted walnuts, brown sugar, hearty bread, burnt toffee, sweet caramel, a hint of liquid smoke, and rich coffee.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated, the mouthfeel is thick, velvety, and smooth with a dry, slightly sweet, slightly smoky finish.

Overall pairing: What goes great with a jazz fusion album?  A thick cigar and a cup of espresso of course... or a beer inspired by those flavors!  Those malty, rich, earthy, and sweet flavors of Cigar City's delightful Maduro are perfect for the artistic brilliance found on "The Best Of Return To Forever"!  This bold and complex, but easy drinking brew has the same depth of character and tasty fun as each track!  A fitting tribute to the late, great Chick Corea!

Rest In Power Chick!

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