Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
Jazz-rock fusion with complex harmonies and arrangements, some really catchy tunes, and virtuoso solos throughout. There is a bit of a space-age theme going on, as envisaged in the 1970s that is, and Chick’s keyboard playing has its usual Spanish-tinge, most evident on the highlight track ‘Captain Seňor Mouse’.
Along with Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, this is the other great offering from Chick’s Return to Forever band, and it’s even better. ‘Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant’ is a classic: jazz-rock fusion doesn’t get any better than this, although the Mahavishnu Orchestra did manage a number of draws. The medieval concept behind this album merges with new-age mysticism, all of which simply adds to the colour of this high-energy and extremely sophisticated music. But despite the pretentions, the music is not without a sense of humour: check out Chick’s impersonation of the jester.
This isn’t Return to Forever, but it’s still in roughly the same jazz-rock mould. However, the mood is more serious and everything sounds dark and strangely stately: it’s a very distinctive album. ‘Duende’, which would have made a good soundtrack to a TV detective series, is the odd track out.