Originally released in 1976, Return To Forever’s Romantic Warrior could be described as the high-water mark of jazz fusion’s commercial popularity, reaching a spot on the Billboard charts and garnering the group a fanatical following of fans attracted to the band’s technical prowess and bombast. Released on the heels of the breakup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Romantic Warrior still sounds like a standard-bearer for jazz fusion, full of flashy solos and complicated arrangements that seem like collages of different moods, meters, and tempos. The album is much closer to the progressive rock of Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, or King Crimson than anything from the jazz realm. Return to Forever’s rhythm team of bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White, who gives the group a subtly funkier sound than most of their contemporaries. Still, it’s pianist Chick Corea, using a veritable arsenal of keyboards and effects, and guitarist Al DiMeola, only 21 at the time of this recording, who define Romantic Warrior as a fusion landmark. This reissued edition comes with improved sound and a brief reminiscence by Corea in the liner notes. –Ezra Gale