Chick Corea’s Return to Forever
Light as a Feathre
@1972 Germany Pressing
The second and last album by the first line-up of Return to Forever was recorded in the same year eight months later. The style of the music remains mostly the same though vocal tracks have now a bit larger role than on the first album. This album has equal classic status among the listeners of electric jazz music as the first album. This time the recording company is Polydor (under which most of later Return to Forever albums are released) and Corea himself has produced the album - though this has not led in any essential change in sound. To point out some minor changes, it is notable that this time Stanley Clarke plays only an acoustic bass. Since the debut album was not released in the USA before 1975, this was the first Return to Forever album for many listeners.
The first track is Corea’s song, “You’re Everything”. Corea has claimed that this is his favorite among the vocal songs he has written. The track begins with Flora Purim singing verses slowly, the rest of the band joining in later to create a light groove. The short solo is played by Joe Farrell on flute. The second track is the title track, Stanley Clarke’s first major composition and the only track on the album not written by Corea. “Captain Marvel”, a fast Latin piece, that provided the name for Stan Getz's album released in the same year. Airto plays percussion and Purim sings without words during the song's main riff. Both DC Comics and Marvel Comics have a superhero called “Captain Marvel”.
The B-side begins with a song called “500 Miles High”. Corea has claimed that the title of the song does not refer to drug experience but to a “spirit flying high”. The track is followed by “Children’s Song”, one of many “Children’s Songs” Corea has written. They are all short pieces with minimalistic melody. The percussion plays a tick-tock pattern that resembles the sound of a clock.
The albums ends with Corea’s famous jazz standard, “Spain”. The song has been recorded many times, but this is probably its most famous appearance.
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 records ever recorded. For many years this record has been listed on the magazine Harry Pearson-The Absolute Sound super disc list and also listed for years on the Stereophile Magazine list of “Records to Die For.” It is also featured in Tom Moon’s 1,000 Albums to Hear Before You Die.
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