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Chicago - The Chicago Transit Authority CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.07 | 223 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars What a surprise !! For those who thought Chicago were just a commercial, Brass orientated venture, like I was, have to hear this debut double LP release, going under the name of The Chicago Transit Authority - thanks to the excellent reviews of this album posted here I just knew I had to whip this one up. No-one will be hearing syrupy ballads, or the soft, A.O.R. tunes which Chicago churned out a-plenty as the 70's rolled on ; this sounds like an experiment in sound, not of the Avant-Garde kind (SOFT MACHINE), but hearing what can happen when a trio of serious Horn players are added to a rollicking rock group. The resultant music is nothing less than excellent, the quality rarely dips throughout the near 80 minute endeavour. Guitarist Terry Kath can't keep his fingers still, his solos on many of the pieces here are inspired, interesting and inventive. He even gets a near 7 minute segment to himself, entitled 'Free Form Guitar'. The 'voice' behind Chicago's (later) fame and fortune is that of bassist Peter Cetera (Karate Kid, anyone??) - he doesn't get many lead vocals on the album, but he absolutely cooks on the Bass - and has a solid, thick sound that's quite up in the mix and he, too, keeps busy. In fact, all the musicians present are really, really good (man, that Pankow sure blows a mean trombone). Main composer is keyboarder Robert Lamm, mainly sticking to Hammond and Piano, but not much in the way of soloing, more of an ever-present backdrop bridging the gaps left between the brass and rock instruments as they play along. As mentioned earlier, this is a consistent listen all the way through, personal highlights being 'Introduction', 'Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is ?' and 'Poem' (where the band just jams.....and jams.....and jams....just hear the bass and guitar....), but it's all great. Who'd have thought....... 4 stars.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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