Monday, 10 February 2014

Review: Flora Purim - Open Yours Eyes, You Can Fly

Flora Purim had a terrific run in the seventies, with nine consistently strong albums recorded in a period of just less than seven years, as well as her excellent and famous work with Chick Corea in the first line-up of the Return To Forever group showcasing her to good effect on their eponymous debut and the hugely successful follow-up ‘Light As A Feather’. As a solo performer she gained her greatest praise and notices as a stand-out and more sensual latin-jazz artist, but the true commercial crossover came with her highly successful ‘Open Your Eyes You Can Fly’.

All of the songs here are great, with some perhaps not as impressive as others, but with fine top-of-the-league songwriters on-board, including Chick Corea, there are no weak moments. The players too are all dazzlingly good; witness the exuberant opener and David Amaro’s fuzzy yet instantly grabbing and playful guitar, or Hermeto Pascoal’s soulful flute playing throughout.

Best of all though, crucially and aptly, is Purim herself. Easily at her most charming here, she takes Corea’s ‘Sometime Ago’ and gives it one of her very best performances, while ‘Ina’s Song (Trip To Bahia)’ features her Portuguese vocals at their most passionate. Her writing contribution on ‘San Francisco River’ equally impresses, with a catchy melody and its uniquely cool and relaxing mood.

‘Open Your Eyes…’ is not up there with Purim’s absolute best work, but that really is just down to her producing such consistently good recordings. It does though come incredibly close and being notably more uptempo and upbeat than her other work, it is definitely one to check out.


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