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This review is from: Light As A Feather (Audio CD)
The original line-up of Chic Corea's Return To Forever, with Corea, Stanley Clarke, Joe Farrell, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira flourished for an all too brief few months nearly 40 years ago. The name lasted longer with different line-ups but these 5 musicians produced a variant of fusion that was fresh, lyrical and often surprising. This second helping in the recording studio finds them at their best, A number of the tunes had already been worked out during the time that Corea spent with Stan Getz and the confidence shows. Purim's vocals, always tinged with a Brazilian accent soar above a rhythm section that is always solid, never boring. Corea's playing on the Fender Rhodes is as beautiful as anything ever played on the instrument, Clarke plays both double bass and electric bass, while Farrell moves between flute and soprano and tenor saxophones. The programme is varied, highlights being Purim's soaring vocal on "500 Miles High" and the ecstatic ensemble playing on "Spain". Fusion is often formulaic and complacent. This is vital, challenging music. A generous bonus disc of alternative takes shows the evolution of many of the tracks. This is indispensible in any collection of post bop jazz.