(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
The mercurial band that was Return To Forever, has its beginning as a proto-Latin-jazz group which stressed heavy ethnic flavoring.The second incarnation's first line-up featured Billy Connors, whom would bail out after one recording, which many felt was Chick's best from this period. The remaining three (Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White) enlisted a young phenom, named Al DiMeola whose fleet fingered fret work would influence many of the more famous heavy metal guitarists of the eighties.
On this line-up second album together, No Mystery very little semblance of jazz existed on this recording, but that is not to say that this album was not without its charm.
All four members contribute at least one composition for No Mystery, but the songs on the first side varies from funk ("Dayride", "Jungle Waterfall") to rock ("Excerpt From Thee...") R&B ("Flight of The New Borne"), then does a shift to lovely jazz-like melodies, like the breath-taking acoustic driven title track, which segues into the even lovelier "Interplay".
Nice and subdued right? No Mystery closes with the powerful "Celebration" suites, which closes the album out with a bang. Not as majestic as the previous album's "Song to The Pharoah Kings", but just as emotive.
No Mystery would be the last album that Return To Forever would do for Polydor, as the band would sign on with Columbia Records and produce one of the finest recordings of the jazz-rock era.