Andrew Macgowan, III | Rochester, New York United States | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For decades, Flora Purim has been the Queen of Brazilian Soul. Open Your Eyes You Can Fly stands as her masterpiece. She recorded it in 1976, following her 18 month prison term for alledged drug possession. And, boy, does she ever feel free. This album has only recently beome available on CD. It was worth the wait; the CD mastering is superb. A dream band backs Flora, including her husband, Airto; George Duke on keyboards; Flora's mentor, the peerless Hermento Pascoal on flute and keyboards; the great Ron Carter sits in on bass for "san Fransisco River", one of the many highlights (there are so many highlights it's hard to choose). But the young, underrated Alphonso Johnson, on acoustic and electric bass, is the album's secret weapon.Not only is this one of the great jazz albums of the Seventies (a wildly underrated and misunderstood decade for jazz), this is one of the great albums - period - of th Seventies. This album certainly sits in the Pantheon of my favorite albums of this period. While, over a quarter-century later, Open Your Eyes You Can Fly has well stood the test of time, I think you will also find it delightfully, immediately accessible; it's one of those rare music masterpieces of which both can be stated. Enjoy!"
A Jazz-Fusion Classic
Keith Hannaleck | Adams, MA | 07/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flora Purim, who is recognized more frequently as having a strong connection to husband Airto, and Chick Corea and Return To Forever, released a conceptual solo album in 1976 entitled "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly." The cover and album title speak of one main focus, freedom. This is in a literal and real life sense for Purim. She had just been released from a prison term on drug charges. Each song is a celebration of life and the freedom that can be found, if one opens their eyes to see. George Duke and Airto, among others, add their strong presence to this effort. Purim has an angelic and airy vocal style that endears you to her anthem and music. She uses many resources by accessing her cultural roots, and musical background to brew a stew of Latin-progressive-jazz that defies categorization and genre placement. The essence and core of Purim's being is found interlaced amongst the musical meandering and transitory complexities of jazz. Freedom, and the celebration that's found in the music, has a firm foothold on this entire session. At times you will hear her singing like a beautiful songbird taking flight, or using her voice as an instrument rather than relating a message through her own words. The music and sound of her vocalizations clearly declare her new found freedom and rebirth into humanity. Latin music and jazz are not strange bedfellows; they can lay side by side, or conveniently depart to go in any direction without breaking the ties that hold them together. Visually you will see how the concept of this whole project becomes a reality with the all change and celebration going on all around it. The music and words are separate entities, yet they consummate a partnership by making both factors proportionate to each other. Music like this is further proof that it should be acknowledged as a sentient being. It all takes on a meaning and life of it's own with the help of Purim's individuality and expressiveness. The percussion and strings enhance the listeners experience and give the music a strength and mystical element heretofore not found in other music. What's so interesting and absorbing about this music is they way it changes it's flight so rapidly without ever falling. Progressive jazz normally has odd time signatures provoked by the shouting rock elements. This doesn't happen at all during these sessions. The lead guitar is clear, clean and focused when exploring the electric aspects of the style. All the instruments, along with Purim's lovely voice becoming one with the soundscape, will hold you glued to the speakers until the curtain falls. Climb aboard, the freedom train is ready to carry you to wherever your heart desires. Keith Hannaleck"
Flora's Freedom Flight
A. Davis | Greenville, SC | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's about time that this jewel was released on CD. This was Flora's freedom flight in the USA and it contains the distinct bass signature of master Alphonso Johnson. This recording was there to help define the Fusion era and it contains the best elements of that period. The title track will stick in your mind for days. Flora is at her best chasing wordless vocals. Her voice is still pure bliss to hear. A great addition for lovers of Chick Corea's earlier RTF and Weather Report. Enjoy!"
Much like the artist herself...
bluejim | San Leandro, California United States | 05/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...this album has aged well. I like it much more now than when it was released. And speaking of released, this is her comeback album after doing time at Terminal Island. So as you might expect, it's particularly joyous and free; two adjectives often associated with Flora. Although it has a much different feel, it shares with Wayne Shorter's "Native Dancer" Americans and Brazilians working together wonderfully. Hermeto Pascoal is dynamite here."