Personnel: Chick Corea (piano, Fender Rhodes); Joe Farrell (reeds, flute); Eddie Gomez (bass); Steve Gadd (percussion).
Recorded at Kendun Recorders Inc, Burbank, California. Includes liner notes by Chick Corea.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio.
After his days as the leader of the highly successful fusion group Return To Forever, Chick Corea turned to a more traditional style in his solo career. FRIENDS from 1978 features elements of swing, Latin music and the sensitive intimacy inherent in a small acoustic ensemble. And what an ensemble it is; no less than Joe Farrell (reeds, flute), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Steve Gadd (drums) are on hand to masterfully interpret Corea's dynamic compositions. The results are nothing less than magnificent.
It takes little time to hear why these four virtuosos were the most in-demand musicians of their era. The opening "The One Step" offers a caressing melody by Corea on the Fender Rhodes piano, opening up into a tight, swinging solo section driven by the inimitable Gadd. The flowing "Waltz for Dave," a tribute to Dave Brubeck, swings lightly as Farrell turns in a spectacular flute performance. Things really start to burn on "Samba Song," a muscular Latin piece that each member executes impressively. Likewise, the fast-paced "Sicily" is a fiery samba that displays Corea's knack for the genre. The session closes with the stunning "Cappucino," a modern bebop tune that could only have been performed by this sensational group of FRIENDS.