The 1998 re-release of Return to Forever's Light As a Feather – the second, final, and most popular album of the band's first edition – as a two-CD set had the effect of nearly doubling the band's released output. The first disc contains the original album as sequenced, while the second contains over an hour of outtakes, including some new titles and tracks that were reconstructed from a number of takes. The actual album as originally released was a splendidly light, fluid, fleeting exercise in electric jazz with a strong whiff of Brazil, featuring Corea's lyrical, probing work on Rhodes electric piano and containing a number of Corea tunes – especially the Rodrigo-based "Spain" – that became standards.
Light as a Feather is simply the first version, a little over half of what would become Azymuth's fine Outubro album. It opens with the weakest cut, the ten-plus minute faux disco "Jazz Carnival," with awful drum effects and popping, funky-yet clichA©d basslines by Alex Malheiros. After this there is much to like, however, in the breezy execution of the title track that is nearly as beautiful as Return to Forever's, and features a fine jazz-samba number that evokes both Walter Wanderley and Tom Jobim in JosA© Roberto Bertrami's "Fly Over the Horizon," as well as a beautiful version of Toninho Horta's "Dona Olimpia."
Not all of the installments in the Verve Jazz Masters series contain material originally issued on Verve. Verve Jazz Masters 3, for example, consists of 14 examples drawn from seven Chick Corea LPs released on the Polydor label during the years 1972-1978. Six of these come from Corea's Return to Forever period. The backbone of this collection (tracks one, seven, ten and fourteen) are selections from the highly acclaimed album Light as a Feather (1972) and there are excerpts from Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973) and No Mystery (1975). The other eight titles are traceable to Corea's theatrically costumed and somewhat heavy-handed production albums The Leprechaun (1975), My Spanish Heart (1976), Friends (1978) and The Mad Hatter (1978)…
The legendary first lineup of Chick Corea's fusion band Return to Forever debuted on this classic album (titled after the group but credited to Corea), featuring Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, the Brazilian team of vocalist Flora Purim and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira, and electric bass whiz Stanley Clarke. It wasn't actually released in the U.S. until 1975, which was why the group's second album, Light as a Feather, initially made the Return to Forever name.