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Chick Corea and Return to Forever - "Light as a Feather"

Chick Corea and Return to Forever – “Light as a Feather”

 

It is probably safe to say that when most jazz fusion fans think of Return to Forever they concentrate on the most commercially successful of the group’s line-ups which featured founders Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke and guitarist Al Di Meola along with drummer Lenny White. But there was a whole RTF history before that version of the group was put together. All music is built upon music that came before it. Though Corea played electric piano, the first Return to Forever band performed mostly acoustic Latin jazz. This group also consisted of the wonderful vocalist Flora Purim, tenor saxophone player and flute player Joe Farrell and the amazing percussionist Airto Moreira. Light as a Feather trended more to jazz than rock but the seeds for a burgeoning fusion movement were generously spread. The tunes on the album were more lighthearted and melodious than would be the case after Return to Forever decided to rock out on subsequent albums. Songs like the crowd-pleasing “500 Miles High,” with its sweetly ethereal Purim vocals, and the now standard “Spain” are part of the bedrock of Return to Forever’s jazz fusion foundation. The band would not fully crossover into the rock-based world until they added electric guitarist Bill Connors and then even more so later when Di Meola replaced Connors. But you can hear the roots of transformation in the wonderful melodies and top-notch musicianship found on Light as a Feather.– Walter Kolosky

 

Chick Corea and Return to Forever - "Light as a Feather"

Chick Corea and Return to Forever – “Light as a Feather”

Released in 1973

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