It was like being transported in a time machine back to 1975 – to an era before punk rock was born when turgid prog-rock dinosaurs ruled the album charts and musicians were revered for their technical prowess rather than their ability to convey feeling or write a decent tune. At least that was my experience as I witnessed the recently reformed ’70s jazz-rock fusion supergroup RETURN TO FOREVER play to a packed house at Indigo2 on Monday 21st July. Just prior to the concert – their first in London for 25 years – the band (comprising keyboard sorcerer CHICK COREA, bassist STANLEY CLARKE, guitarist AL DIMEOLA and drummer LENNY WHITE) picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Jazz Awards, presented to them by the Fab Four’s legendary producer, Sir George Martin. After performing their classic track ‘The Romantic Warrior’ at the awards the group rushed down the Thames to Indigo2 where they proceeded to dust off their back catalogue in front of a surprisingly youthful audience (many of whom, I dare say, weren’t even born when the band was at its undoubted peak in the mid-’70s). For both diehards and neophytes, Return To Forever didn’t disappoint. Considering that the quartet hadn’t played together as a group for a quarter of a century, there was a remarkable, and at times, jaw-droppingly potent, synergy in evidence – Corea’s mercurial keyboards duelled thrillingly with DiMeola’s rapid-fingered, Latin-esque guitar passages, while Clarke’s sinewy bass lines and Lenny White’s propulsive drums provided a solid rhythmic bedrock (that didn’t stop the dexterous Clarke from delivering some tremendously imaginative solos on double bass in the second half of the show). Understandably, songs from the new 2-CD retrospective, ‘Return To Forever: The Anthology’ dominated the group’s set, though it was edifying to witness Corea and his confreres – minus DiMeola – perform the standard ‘Alice In Wonderland’ in a straight-ahead acoustic trio setting. During the two-and-a-half hour set there were, I have to confess, a couple of dull moments (Lenny White’s drum solo was one) and a pretentious one as well (Chick Corea hitting his piano strings with a soft-headed drum stick) but given the sometimes self-indulgent nature of this ancient jazz-meets-prog-rock Leviathan, that wasn’t at all surprising. Overall, a triumphant return.