Saturday, July 7, 2018

Return To Forever - 1973 [1998] "Light As A Feather" (Deluxe Edition) [2 CD]

The 1998 re-release of Return to Forever's Light As a Feather -- the second, final, and most popular album of the band's first edition -- as a two-CD set had the effect of nearly doubling the band's released output. The first disc contains the original album as sequenced, while the second contains over an hour of outtakes, including some new titles and tracks that were reconstructed from a number of takes. The actual album as originally released was a splendidly light, fluid, fleeting exercise in electric jazz with a strong whiff of Brazil, featuring Corea's lyrical, probing work on Rhodes electric piano and containing a number of Corea tunes -- especially the Rodrigo-based "Spain" -- that became standards. Airto Moreira was a whirlwind on trap drums and overdubbed percussion, Flora Purim's vocals gave the band some commercial appeal; Stanley Clarke made his first astounding impact on electric and stand-up basses; Joe Farrell contributed superb wind solos. The outtakes are of uniformly high quality, all but one unmarked by post-production, with excellent solos all around. The major surprise is four takes of a tune previously released on Corea's 1972 ECM album Return to Forever. "What Games Shall We Play Today?" is a great little Chick Corea boogaloo with a delicate wah-wah pedal applied to the Rhodes. It was heartening to see the jazz industry finally starting to document its electric music heritage with the same thoroughness once reserved only for acoustic jazz landmarks.

The expanded version of this recording includes many alternate takes of four of these selections, but also includes "Matrix," which was not on any RTF albums, and there are four versions of "What Game Shall We Play Today?," which was only available on the ECM release. From a historical perspective, this is the most important effort of Corea's career, quite different than his prior previous progressive or improvising efforts, and the pivotal beginning of his career as the most popular contemporary jazz keyboardist in history.

Light as a Feather won the 1972 Playboy Jazz Album of the year and has been selected by many magazines and polls as one of the greatest jazz albums ever recorded. For many years this album has been listed on The Absolute Sound super disc list and the Stereophile list of "Records to Die For." It is also featured in Tom Moon's 1,000 Albums to Hear Before You Die.

Track listing:
All tracks written by Chick Corea except where noted.

CD 1
1. "You're Everything" (Corea/Neville Potter) 5:11
2. "Light as a Feather" (Clarke/Purim) 10:57
3. "Captain Marvel" 4:53
4. "500 Miles High" (Corea/Potter) 9:07
5. "Children's Song" 2:47
6. "Spain" (Corea/JoaquĆ­n Rodrigo) 9:51

CD 2
01 Matrix (Corea) 7:57
02 Light As A Feather (Alternative Take) 10:42
03 500 Miles High (Alternative Take) 9:05
04 Children's Song (Alternative Take) 2:43
05 Spain (Composite Alternative Take) 5:28
06 Spain (Alternative Take) 8:57
07 What Games Shall We Play Today? (Corea/Neville Potter) 3:22
08 What Games Shall We Play Today? (Alternative Take) 4:00
09 What Games Shall We Play Today? (Alternative Take) 3:34
10 What Games Shall We Play Today? (Alternative Take) 3:47


Chick Corea – electric piano
Stanley Clarke – double bass
Joe Farrell – tenor saxophone, flute
Airto Moreira – drums
Flora Purim – vocals, percussion



  2. Sweet. Thank you so much.

  3. Brilliant music, thanks so much. Your site is tops.

  4. What a thrill! Didn't know about this expanded version.
    Many thanks!

  5. Thanks for the FLAC for this expanded release