Return To Forever – Live at Stockholm Jazzdays Festival – September 17, 1972 – Sveriges Radio –
Chick Corea and his milestone assemblage, Return To Forever, recorded in concert at the Stockholm Jazzdays Festival on September 17, 1972 and broadcast live by Sveriges Radio, Sweden.
The first edition of Return to Forever performed primarily Latin-oriented music. This initial band consisted of singer and percussionist Flora Purim, her husband Airto Moreira (both Brazilians) on drums and percussion, Corea’s longtime musical co-worker Joe Farrell on saxophone and flute, and the young Stanley Clarke on bass. Within this first line-up in particular, Clarke played acoustic double bass in addition to electric bass. Corea’s Fender Rhodes electric piano formed the basis of this group’s sound; he had yet to discover synthesizers, his trademark sound in the group’s later years. Clarke and Farrell were given ample solo space themselves. While Purim’s vocals lent some commercial appeal to the music, many of their compositions were also instrumental and somewhat experimental in nature. The music was composed by Corea with the exception of the title track of the second album which was written by Stanley Clarke.
Their first album, titled simply Return to Forever, was recorded for ECM Records in 1972, and was initially released only in Europe. This album featured Corea’s now famous compositions “Crystal Silence” and “La Fiesta”. Shortly afterwards, Corea, Airto, Clarke and Tony Williams formed the band for Stan Getz’s album Captain Marvel (1972), which featured Corea’s compositions, including some from the first and second Return to Forever albums. Their second album, Light as a Feather (1973), was released by Polydor and included the song “Spain”, which also became quite well known.
In 1982, the Corea/Clarke/White/Di Meola lineup reunited to record an eleven-minute track, “Compadres”, which was issued on Corea’s 1982 album Touchstone. In 1983, the same Return to Forever lineup played a short reunion tour of the U.S. and Japan, but did not record a new album. The repertoire for the tour included some new material by Corea, including one piece titled “Overture” that was later recorded by the Chick Corea Elektric Band for the live various artists double album GRP Super Live in Concert (1992), and another titled “The Phantom” that Di Meola later recorded on his album Kiss My Axe (1991).
As a reminder of that early and initial incarnation of the band, here is their Stockholm concert from September 1972.
Relax and enjoy.