Part 2 of a (?) Part Series: Return To Forever, Return to Yamato and Return to Dead Bolt

by groove on October 7, 2013


The musical focus of this post is on a singular act and the timeline and circumstances for acquiring half of the band’s discography. The food focus is the asian restaurant Yamato – a spot we somehow keep returning to time and time again, even though there are several other choices to make. The wine focus is the red wine, Dead Bolt – another of our “return to” choices in spite of the hundreds of other choices we could make.

The music: In 1972, Chick Corea began the Return To Forever-era with the album of the same name and was unintentionally an introduction to the group that would become Return To Forever. The album by Chick is very heavily laden with electric piano and the performances very Latin-influenced, thanks in part to the inclusion of Airto Moreira on drums and his wife Flora Purim on vocals. Several  line-up changes have occurred with the band and each incarnation bringing a new sound. The album, Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy is very jazz-infused prog-rock, with stellar guitar work by Bill Connors and Lenny White on drums. The next album (in chronological order), No Mystery, introduces the guitar prodigy Al Di Meola at the ripe young age of 19 years old, playing jazz-laced leads unheard of by masters of the guitar twice his age. It is the line-up of Al, Chick, Lenny White on drums and Stanley Clarke on bass that would be THE Return To Forever band that is most referred to as the classic ensemble. A future reunion tour of Return To Forever would include these members. Finally, Romantic Warrior, showcases a mature band that has become a flawless unit of musical mastery through the few years of touring together and developing a signature sound. Shockingly, Corea changed the line-up of the band following this release and the band released only one more title.

How I have acquired these albums has much to do with chance and pure luck. The Chick album was originally purchased at Pandosy Books a few years ago and has mostly sat unplayed on my shelf since bringing it home. Recently, a collection purchased from a very nice couple in West Kelowna yielded Romantic Warrior and set me on the hunt for more. Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy and No Mystery were found in the first crate I started searching at the Peach City Vinyl Fest a couple of weeks ago. Without any hesitation, I snatched the two albums and brought them home.


The food: Yamato restaurant has become a new favourite go-to place for excellent Asian food with a fresh twist. The presentation is what makes the meal, somewhat of an art piece with the pleasant surprise of flavour and zest. Our meals tend to have an abundance of spiralized veggies and fresh garnishes and there is little deep fried ingredients on the plate. We have visited the Kelowna location as well as the West Kelowna location a few times and have tried a few of the menu selections, but we have tended to go back to the mainstays: for Mr. Groove Garden it is the Vietnamese Signature Bowl and Mrs. Groove Garden usually goes for the Tufu Donburi (pictured here).


The wine: Dead Bolt is a California red blend that we grown to enjoy regularly and it has become a repeat purchase. We have experimented with several wines in the last couple of years, trying as many different labels as possible with the hope of building a list that we can eventually fill a cellar with. We have one restriction: price. There should be no reason to spend above $20 for a good bottle of wine in the Okanagan. We have found several under $15 reds that are quite good and have also had a number of wines that are low-priced for a reason. The majority of good quality reds in the Okanagan are in the $18 – $25 range. While trying to stay local as much as possible, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay under budget. That is why we turn to the other aisles of the store and search in the Italy, California, Germany and France aisles. Dead Bolt is a winemaker’s blend and is an excellent sipping wine on it’s own or paired with just about anything you have on your plate. It retails around $18 and is on “the list” of future cellar inhabitants.

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