01. Return To Forever [0:12:10.44]
02. Crystal Silence [0:06:58.39]
03. What Game Shall We Play Today [0:04:26.36]
04. Sometime Ago - La Fiesta [0:23:14.17]
All tracks are composed by Corea (except a long improvisation before "Sometime Ago"). Lyrics by Neville Porter.
* Chick Corea - Electric piano
* Stanley Clarke - Acoustic bass, electric bass
* Flora Purim - Vocals, percussion
* Joe Farrell - Flute, saxophone
* Airto Moreira - Drums
Return to Forever is a jazz fusion album by Chick Corea, simultaneously functioning as the debut album by
the band of the same name. Unlike later albums by the group, it was released by the ECM label and produced
by Manfred Eicher. The album was not released in the USA until 1975. The record is often considered one of
the classic albums in electric jazz.
At this stage Corea's approach to jazz fusion was very different compared to other early fusion artists.
Adventurous electric piano solos are backed with South American oriented rhythms of drummer Airto Moreira
and the vocals and percussion of his wife Flora Purim. Stanley Clarke is the bassist of the group (playing
electric bass on A-side and double bass on B-side) and Joe Farrell plays flute and saxophone. This first
line-up of Return to Forever consists of musicians (excluding Joe Farrell) that were also playing on Stan
Getz's album Captain Marvel that was released in the same year.
The first track can be divided into five parts. There are three short parts in which Corea plays simple,
haunting melodies with Purim doubling them with her voice. Between these three parts there are two longer
parts in which the whole band plays. These main parts are both based on their own riffs. Farrell plays a
flute solo over the first main part and Corea plays solo over the second. Moreira's drum pattern gives the
composition an airy feeling of its own. Purim sings along with riffs, screaming a bit towards the end. The
overall mood of the composition is mysterious.
The second track, "Crystal Silence", is Corea's song. It has lyrics but this time a vocalist is not used at
all and the track is played just by Corea and Farrell with some silent percussion on a background. Farrell
performs a long saxophone solo. Third track, "What Game Shall We Play Today?", is another of Corea's songs.
It has a very affectionate melody and Purim singing vocals. Farrell plays now a flute. Corea and Farrell
give short solos between the second and the third verse.
The B-side of the album has only one track which consists of three different pieces of music. Probably
they have been recorded without breaks and this is the reason why they are not separated on three individual
tracks. The first seven minutes of the track consist of an improvised introduction featuring Corea and Clark.
After this section ends the piece makes a transition into Sometime Ago. It is a Latin flavored piece with
Purim's vocals and Farrell's flute solo. After that song Farrell switches to a saxophone and the band plays
"La Fiesta" which is one of the Corea's jazz standards. Corea has written that most of Spanish songs deal
about matters such as misery or torture but "La Fiesta", however, is about celebration. The song is an
instrumental piece that relies on flamenco modes. Corea, Farrell and Clarke play all their own solos while
Purim takes a percussionist's role.