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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2010
I love this album, I just thought that I should get that out of the way first. It should be listened to along side Light As A Feather which is the other great album by this incarnation of Return to Forever. The key ingredients for this version of the band are Airto Morera Flora Purim, and Joe Farrell that is to say that they give the music the particular accent that differentiates it from the music of the later incarnations of the band. Stanley Carke;s bass playing is fantastic as ever but he remained in the band once guitar took over from the Sax & Flute of Joe Farrell and the Airto/Flora combination was no longer there. This and Light As A Feather represent one Return to Forever, the other Bill Connors/Al Demeola et al band is like an completely different band and the 1977 larger version of the band looks like it should have worked but certainly never did on record.

This is music that unfolds slowly but builds to stunningly beautiful peaks. This music can be frustrating for the uninitiated but once you get it you really get it. This album contains the number Crystal Silence which Corea has returned to on several recordings. This album comes to a brilliant close with the joyful La Fiesta which, again, Corea revisted, most notabley with Gary Burton.

It is also worth noting that this musical direction own a huge debt to Miles Davis., the time that Chick Corea spent in the Miles Davis band opened up a whole range of possibilities to him that came to their first fruition here.

You don't need to go as banal as Rage Against the Machine to find a real antidote to processed pop music,; this is music that purifies the soul.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2001
This album has hardly left my CD player since I bought it - that was almost a month ago! This is a totally brilliant album that seems to have been quite overlooked. Corea's piano playing is sublime - he's got a very melodic style (rather like Keith Jarrett) and excellent improvisation skills. He reads the music and the other band members very well and the overall effect is of seamless playing by the the whole band. Having said that, Stan Clarke's bass is also excellent and the rest of the band really fits together.
I suppose this is classed as Jazz-rock but it's a million miles from say Bitch's Brew - far more structured and chilled out. Just buy it and make your own opinion up. Anyone with more than a passing interest in music of that style will appreciate it. I think it's great!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2012
Bought this on vinyl in about 1973 and loved it, probably my first ever "jazz" purchase.
Went to see Return to Forever in 74 - I'd missed the line-up change and the "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" release, so that night was a bit of a shock to say the least.

I grew to love the later band and the recent release of "The Mothership Returns" is a wonderful live album, but after a while I always find the need to go back to the lighter and more melodic approach of this album and "Light as a Feather".

It's a close call as both are brilliant, but for me this has the edge on "Light as a Feather", slightly looser and more experimental and with that unique sound of Chick's electric piano and latin rythms make it an absolute winner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2014
Fascinating album. The former members of Miles Davis band were spreading their wings & like little evolutionary tributaries were recording their own differing takes on the the times. Unlike Miles, the dark magus' usually dense & dark sounds, many of his former sidemen reflected the changes in music in an entirely positive sounding way & its the way they expressed it that's so interesting. Corea doesnt sound quite ready to dive completely into the "fusion" pool as such here, the sound is a lighter groove, sometimes latin tinged with Airto brilliantly driving the intense rhythms & the album is all the more refreshing & original because of this. To further reflect this optimistic period in music the Neville Potter lyrics are naively upbeat which will put some people off, this is partly due to his interest in Scientology but if you love your jazz & remain open you will see past these & bathe in the spirit of the time & the incredible performances when this pool of inspired musicians presented us with music & sounds that at the time, none of us had ever heard before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2015
This is a beautiful album. I stumbled on it in London in the 70s, think the album cover was in Colletts (?), jazz music shop in New Oxford Street. I sampled it on headphones of the day and impressed so bought it on vinyl (no new fangled CDs!! ). Since giving up a deck and amp set up and stowing the vinyl, I missed listening to it until purchasing a fresh digital copy here.
It is crystal clear jazz, some of Chick Corea's more melodic output and some of the freshest. I personally don't think it is out of place today even if the keyboard sound is a trifle retro. I recommend listening to it in a darkened room with no distractions or ambient noises and let the bass, keyboard and Flora Purim's voice fill your ears. Enjoy.
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on 13 June 2013
'Seasons' by Magna Carta . My review of this cd is the same. Hearing sounds that I've never heard before. Digital quality played through decent stuff equals a different listening experience.
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on 23 March 2015
This is a classic album with superb musicianship. Jazz fusion with a Latin vibe and very laid back in places especially crystal silence.
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on 7 November 2014
This is a great recording. If you're in for Mr Corea you must have this one in your collection.
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on 24 August 2015
Fantastic album. Wish ECM did a remaster.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2010
Bought this to replace my LP and this gave me a chance to review the music after quite an interval of time; it stands up quite well, especially compared to most of what RTF version 2 subsequently produced, but to fully enjoy the body of work, you also need to get Light As A Feather, which IMO is a more mature and assured work.
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