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CHASE

Chase

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.93 | 26 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This is how to use a trumpet! It's been almost three years since the last Chase review which might suggest that they have been forgotten and so, if nothing else, I hope that this review will serve as a friendly remainder of this classic band.

Chase was a band assembled around the talented trumpet player Bill Chase. The band consisted of nine members among which were four trumpeters and at least as many vocalists. This formation might be considered similar to that of Chicago but with a definite emphasis on the trumpet sound that each and every one of these compositions feature prominently. The music on the band-titled debut album is just as experimental as that of the early Chicago but in a condensed form of a 33 minute album, meaning that you'll never get the chance to get tired of this release!

The album starts off with an instrumental introduction piece titled Open Up Wide followed by a side filled with 3 minute songs. Among these tracks we find an excellent cover of Mike d'Abo's (Manfred Mann) Handbags And Gladrags and a minor U.S. hit titled Get It On which ends with a quite surprising twist! Still it's the slightly more experimental lengthy piece called Invitation To A River that just might hit it off even with listeners that generally doesn't enjoy pure Jazz Rock/Fusion music.

I realize that my comparisons to Chicago might seem as criticism which in fact isn't so at all. These bands probably did compete for the same audience back in the day, but just like the golden age of prog where a lot of power trio lineups tried to simulate the magic of ELP, today I can only smile whenever I hear similarities between artists from that era. Incidentally, this album was recorded in Chicago, Illinois which makes it all even more fun!

The main flaw of this album has to do with the great variety of vocalists featured in the lineup. Unlike Chicago where the main composer Robert Lamm sang the majority of the songs, the great differences between the vocal styles here makes it sometimes difficult to get a feel for the band. Luckily we have the trumpets to remind us of just that. This is an excellent piece of the early '70s U.S. Jazz Rock/Fusion scene well worth digging into!

***** star songs: Handbags And Gladrags (3:24) Get It On (2:59)

**** star songs: Open Up Wide (3:48) Livin' In Heat (2:54) Boys And Girls Together (2:51) Invitation To A River (14:12)

*** star songs: Hello Groceries (2:57)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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