Personnel: Chick Corea (electric piano); Flora Purim (vocals, percussion); Joe Farrell (soprano saxophone, flute); Stanley Clarke (acoustic & electric basses); Airto Moreira (drums, percussion).
Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, New York on February 2 & 3, 1972.
What a breath of fresh air this must have been to the moribund jazz scene of 1972. Going electric was the order of the day, and pianist Chick Corea, late of gigs with Miles Davis, embraced Miles' reconstituting of jazz for this sterling recording, the seeds of which would grow into one of the premier jazz-rock outfits of the '70s.
With Corea's liquid electric piano lines leading the way, and augmented by atmospheric vocalist Flora Purim and husband Airto Moreira, bassist Stanley Clarke and horn/reeds player Joe Farrell, this quintet spun the elegiac webs of forward motion that lay at the core of RETURN TO FOREVER. The sumptuous title track is 12 minutes of spidery basslines, wordless chanting, floating piano clusters and light-as-air percussion. They close with the epic-length improv session "Sometime Ago--La Fiesta," where Corea works Airto's crisscrossing percussive patterns into a maze of carnivalesque keyboards and rippling bass, a fiery excursion into both the urban jungle and the lush Brazilian hinterland.