With a constantly shifting series of musicians at her back, Purim turns in a correspondingly eclectic album, veering freely from the Great American Songbook to jazz-rock to Brazil and back again. However, this album begins in a somewhat unfocused manner – Flora does not sound completely comfortable with the songs in English – and only hits its stride somewhere in the middle, when the Brazilian elements really kick in. Of the standards, "Angel Eyes" is backed bittersweetly by the British saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers, and there is a leisurely, spare-textured "Midnight Sun" featuring George Duke.
Throughout Flora's Song, the veteran Brazilian singer Flora Purim is heard in prime form. The ten compositions fit her style well; she swings in her own fashion and puts plenty of feeling into her vocals. In addition, there are many fine solos along the way, with the standouts including Harvey Wainapel's flute solo on "Flora's Song" and the steel drums of Andy Narrell on "E Precisa Perdoar" and "Forbidden Love." Whether any of the songs eventually become standards is open to question, but they are welcome additions to Flora Purim's repertoire. This is her most rewarding recording in several years, and she sounds quite happy throughout the excellent set.
Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary Orrin Keepnews. The 1974 release of this album on the Fantasy group's Milestone label created an instant impact and launched one of the most exciting and tempestuous vocalists of the decade. Flora Purim and her husband, the brilliant percussionist Airto Moreira, had been part of Chick Corea's "Return to Forever" band, and Airto had gained much attention with Miles Davis, but this record combined their Brazilian rhythms for the first time with the "fusion" jazz of players like George Duke and Stanley Clarke. The result was a high-energy music of enormous appeal.
Along with Ragnarock and Sebastian Hardie, Dragon were one of the very best 70's melodic progressive bands from that region of the world. There is plenty to love if you like the UK bands Fantasy, Barclay James Harvest, and Ireland's Fruupp. There is lots of excellent melodic content, with very easy-on-the-ear vocals, excellent Hammond organ, and acoustic/electric guitar. Their material never gets super heavy or bombastic though, so I would tend to classify Dragon as proto-prog. While this, and their second album, "Scented Gardens For The Blind" are wholeheartedly recommended!
As an original member of Chick Corea's group Return to Forever, Purim subsequently drew praise as a solo act. Recording for the jazz label Milestone since 1973, Purim's sensual and strong voice was singular enough to withstand the pitfalls that hampered the work of many Latin jazz fusion artists. Open Your Eyes You Can Fly represents a commercial breakthrough, and has the artist again supplemented by adventurous players and top-notch songwriting.
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This was one of Flora Purim's finest all-around jazz recordings, and it is luckily available on CD. Purim is featured in a variety of challenging and stimulating settings: on two numbers ("Above the Rainbow" and "Tomara") with pianist McCoy Tyner; teamed up with tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson on Chick Corea's "Windows" and "Black Narcissus" ~ AllMusic
This album is Flora breaking down all the boundaries. The last album she recorded for Milestone Records, it's the most hardcore fusion of all her work. In my opinion, it's the most daring album she's done–she expanded her highly unique vocalese/scat-singing technique to the point where only a couple of tracks have lyrics. The rest feature Flora singing wordless melodies and doing some amazing things with her voice that no one else has done before or since, with nary a hint of traditional "cocktail jazz" singing. ~ Amazon Customer's Review