JAZZ ON SUNDAY: RETURN TO FOREVER - SANTA MONICA 1977 [MILLARD]

September 13, 2020 – 5:29 am

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RETURN TO FOREVER
Santa Monica 1977 [Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS and Goody, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 41. Live at the Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA; April 8, 1977. Very good audience recording. Slight hiss.

Thanks to Mike Millard; Rob, Jim R; Barry G; JEMS; BK; and mjk5510 for sharing the show at Dime.

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Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. Until 2020, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R, Bill C and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?

The truth is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

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Return To Forever - Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA; April 8, 1977

I know what you’re thinking. “Millard recorded jazz?” Indeed he did, in fact several times. This was the final tour by the Musicmagic line-up led by Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke, and featured a six-piece horn section plus Corea’s wife Gayle Moran on vocals.

The RTF ’77 tour spawned the group’s Live album, released later the same year and expanded to multiple LPs and CDs in the decades that followed. The Santa Monica set list matches the live album for the most part with the exception of the final encore song, which we are not savvy enough to identify. Please let us know what it is.

Mike’s recording is excellent and captures the full fidelity of the band and the enthusiasm of the crowd in fine balance. Like the best of his work, the capture is rich and especially powerful with the horns. The Santa Monica Civic is a great sounding room (why on earth did they stop doing concerts there) and from Orchestra Row D, Mike was right where he wanted to be.

Mike would go on to record DiMeola and Clarke solo shows over the years at a time when jazz-rock fusion was immensely popular. In hindsight, its puzzling the genre hasn’t continued to thrive.

Here’s what Jim R recalled about the Return To Forever show:

Mike and I attended the Return To Forever concert on April 8, 1977 at the Santa Monica Civic. We sat in the Orchestra Pit, Row D. As expected from being so close to the stage, the sound was fantastic.

Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke were virtuosos. Watching Clarke play bass with his long fingers was incredible. He made it look effortless.

Mike and I attended Return To Forever thanks to the constant prodding of Mike’s high-school friend Jay, who was a drummer. Jay was steadfast in his praise of Return To Forever and the group’s individual members. When we saw that they were playing one of our favorite venues, The Civic, we had to go to see what all the fuss was about. Both Mike and I came away greatly impressed despite being only mildly familiar with the material.

In fact, this concert opened up a whole new genre to both of us. Later we attended and recorded as solo acts (a partial list): Stanley Clarke at The Roxy 1977, Lenny White at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, Al DiMeola a few times, Jean Luc Ponty and Chick Corea on multiple occasions.

We also caught Stanley again in 1979 when toured as part of the New Barbarians featuring Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. We recorded those local shows as well.

I did not take pictures. We stayed low key to fit in with the crowd.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once Rob learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program. Our releases would not be nearly as compelling without Jim’s memories and photos. As many of you have noted, the stories offer an entertaining complement to Mike’s incredible audio documents.

Special thanks to Goody for his help with the setlist, proper pitch and his usual contributions to improve the final product.

JEMS could never release as much music as we do without our stalwart partner mjk5510. Thank you for your unwavering support of our mission and program.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.

BK for JEMS

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Lineage:
Recording Gear: AGK 451-E Microphones (CK-1 Capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 13.0 capture > Adobe Audition > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Disc 1
Track 101. The Endless Night 9:08
Track 102. The Musician 14:39
Track 103. Hello Again 5:11
Track 104. So Long Mickey Mouse 13:49
Track 105. Musicmagic 23:16
Track 106. Do You Ever 11:31
78 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Come Rain Or Come Shine 5:06
Track 202. Serenade 11:25
Track 203. The Moorish Warrior 12:36
Track 204. Spanish Fantasy 23:41
Track 205. On Green Dolphin Street 9:15
Track 206. Musicmagic (Reprise) 12:09
75 mins

Lineup:
Chick Corea - grand piano, keyboards
Stanley Clarke - double and electric bass, vocals
Gayle Moran - keyboards, Hammond B3 organ, vocals
Joe Farrell - tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo
John Thomas - trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet
James Tinsley - trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn
Jim Pugh - tenor trombone, baritone horn
Harold Garrett - bass trombone, tuba, baritone horn
Ron Moss - tenor trombone
Gerry Brown - drums

Click here to order Return To Forever releases.

  1. 35 Responses to “JAZZ ON SUNDAY: RETURN TO FOREVER - SANTA MONICA 1977 [MILLARD]”

  2. I would like to post my usual boring comment about the size of Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke’s genttalia, but everyone will probably skip over it. So I think I will not comment today. Other than thinking about male genitals, I really have no other life.

    By U L E on Sep 13, 2020

  3. No Al DiMiola? Bummer. Thanks BigO. I’ll give it a listen.

    By sking on Sep 13, 2020

  4. I think dumping the artwork on this would be a good plan as it shows the wrong lineup.It’s a very good recording of a rather odd period of the band.

    By Bevis on Sep 13, 2020

  5. Twernt me above nuther fake

    By U L E on Sep 13, 2020

  6. Rumor has it this was a band of Big Uns , Lil Uns and Average Uns

    By U L E on Sep 13, 2020

  7. Not my most favorite choice R.T.F songs. And Al DiMeola, although pictured right in the center in both, the front and the tray card, has nothing to do with this band’s line-up and the music played here. Cheat.

    By Theo on Sep 13, 2020

  8. Thanks BigO. Great music for Sunday listening. I’m a huge fan.

    By David Duke on Sep 13, 2020

  9. David , it seems like the middle school morons are trying a new tactic. Leave normal comments, copying our names of course. Never knew you to be a jazz fan . Figured you to be a classic rocker .

    By HHH on Sep 14, 2020

  10. Not that jazz is bad , just never read you comment about it .

    By HHH on Sep 14, 2020

  11. Guys , the nigger football league is in full swing again . The pre game shows all touched on the black ape live matter Marxist garbage . Fans are turned off by the politics and the apes themselves. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about another one beating his mudshark sometime soon .

    By HHH on Sep 14, 2020

  12. Shut up triple h, just get over it. That’s the way its gonna be. And Derrick, you too. As for jazz, love it, especially Weather Report.

    By David Duke on Sep 14, 2020

  13. Don’t be like that DD. My husband says that you are just down right rude!

    By HHH on Sep 14, 2020

  14. I am a classic rocker. some asshole hijackin my name. i havent commented in days. these shitheads have nothing better to do than imitate us

    By David Duke on Sep 14, 2020

  15. Yeah, these assholes have nothing more to do at night but make racist comments and talk sports at a music site.

    By Nelson on Sep 14, 2020

  16. I was always happy with AM radio.

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  17. I’m happiest with a dik in my mouth.

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  18. Any size, any color.

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  19. White people are stealing our names.

    By HHH on Sep 14, 2020

  20. Ain’t none of the comments above me DD , triple h . I’m sure most ain’t you guys either . I watched some of the coon hype yesterday on the nfl . Wish the announcers would just talk bout the games and shut the fuck up bout the coons politics. I only watch the games a little to get a laugh these days . Nuthin has changed . Still a coon fest Tattoos and dreadlocks, actin like monkeys , muggin for the cameras etc . Same ole same ole

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  21. Quote “I aint watchin sports no more…” Your just a liar Derrick.

    By Nelson on Sep 14, 2020

  22. Used to be a Cowboys fan , but no more . They lost to the rams yesterday. Hi Yeller Dak Prescott ain’t a good quarterback and couldn’t lead em down the field to get the winning touchdown or even a tying field goal to send game to overtime. Leighton Vander Esh got hurt , and Sean Lee was also out which meant an all coon defense. No white players at all That’s what Jerrah Jones has given us , he also got rid of Jeff Heath and Cole Beasley two white players and replaced em wit more coons . Go Jerrah

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  23. You’re a real true fan Derrick, NOT!

    By Nelson on Sep 14, 2020

  24. GO PACK GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Pam Barres Des on Sep 14, 2020

  25. On offense , the only whites is the two tight ends , Jarwin and Schultz and Zack Martin on the O Line , everybody else even the backup receivers is coons . Jerruh has turned America’s team into Africa’s team Fuck him . The team wit the proud history wit Captain America Roger the Dodger Staubach , Coach Tom Landry , Dandy Don Meredith, Bob Lilly , Chuck Howley , Lee Roy Jordan , Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters has been turned into a circus of coon monkeys . Fuck you Jerruh .I hope they lose every game so you can slam your fist in your millionaire pressbox . Fuck you you coon monkey lover

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  26. Derrick, I haven’t posted anything in awhile , been busy with other things . I see the fools are still signing our names .

    By Nelson on Sep 14, 2020

  27. I’m with you , I can’t watch the niggers in sports much anymore, especially either with all this race / politics stuff going on everywhere, with the media shoving it down our throats . Niggers own the nfl dude , it’s not just the Cowboys , it’s every team , basketball too . Niggers and nothing but niggers . The only whites you see are the cheerleaders and most of them are probably fucking the nigger players .

    By Nelson on Sep 14, 2020

  28. Nelson , I watch old nfl and nba games on YouTube , more white players back then and none of that coon monkey behavior. Even the few coons acted different back then . No dreadlocks, tattoos and monkey behavior. The announcers was better too Summerall, Madden , Brookshire and Ray Scott , Curt Gowdy . Al Derogatis

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  29. Players just handed the ball to the ref after a touchdown back then . None of that monkey shit in the end zone

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  30. Ain’t none of the comments above me DD . I’m still lookin for someone to report these assholes to . This name highjackin shit is pissin me off

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  31. I don’t believe you Derrick. I’m not your friend any more. Goodbye!

    By David Duke on Sep 14, 2020

  32. But honestly DD, it really, really, really isn’t me. I’m going off to cry and sulk now.

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  33. And what with the Cowboys, “America’s team” losing as well, i’m so despondint now.

    By Derrick on Sep 14, 2020

  34. What’s up with unrelated to the music uploads and often deliberately obsene comments of some idiots?

    By Theo on Sep 14, 2020

  35. Rumor has it that Theo gots a Lil Un.

    By U L E on Sep 14, 2020

  36. How did you know about me U L E? Who told you?

    By Theo on Sep 15, 2020

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