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Chick Corea has had a very diverse career and has consistently been among the most popular of all jazzmen, but his avant-garde music of 1970-1971 certainly will not appeal to fans of his fusion band, Return to Forever. His group, Circle, is well-showcased on this two-LP set which finds Corea, reed master Anthony Braxton, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Barry Altschul performing three lengthy group improvisations. In addition, Altschul is showcased on "Percussion Piece," and Braxton sits out on the trio selection "Drone." The music is generally quite difficult with sound explorations emphasized over melodic development, and is much closer to the direction that Braxton would explore than what Corea would be playing two years later. But open-eared listeners who enjoy avant-garde jazz will find much to savor during these fascinating performances from one of the new music's top (if short-lived) regular groups.

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