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CHASE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Chase biography
The story of CHASE is the story of Bill Chase, one of the most influential and respected trumpet players of the 20th Century. Bill Chase (born William Edward Chiaiese on October 20, 1934 ) made his name in the 1950s and 60s as the lead trumpeter in bands led by world famous names such as Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, and Woody Herman.

During the 1960's, Chase became a session musician in Las Vegas, working with a number of bands and celebrities. During this time, his attentions turned to pop and rock music eventually leading to him forming a group bearing his name in the early 1970's. Inspired by bands such as BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS and CHICAGO (TRANSIT AUTHORITY) the band he brought together included no less than 4 trumpeters, a vocalist, and an array of conventional rock musicians. In 1971, the group were nominated in the "Best new band" section of the Grammys (Carly Simon won it that year).

The band's eponymous debut album released in 1971 saw them hit the ground running with a US hit single "Get it on" and a best selling album. The following year, their second album "Ennea" was released, the name being Greek for nine, after the number of band members. The band's final album, "Pure music" was released in 1974 with a virtually all new line up. Work did star on a fourth album, but it was never to be completed.


On August 9th 1974, a plane chartered by Bill Chase to take himself and three other band members to Jackson, Minnesota crashed near the airport killing all on board. In an often quoted touch or irony, the band's debut album opened with Chase burst onto the scene with "Open Up Wide and the final track on their third and last album was "Close Up Tight".

In 1977, a number of the original members got together to record a Chase tribute album titled "Watch closely now", but without Bill Chase, sadly the band also died.

Bob McBeath ("Easy livin")




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the PA jazz rock/fusion specialist team.



Discography:
1971 Chase - Chase (Epic KE30472)
1972 Chase - Ennea (Epic KE31097)
1973 Chase - Pure Music (Epic KE32572)

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CHASE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CHASE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 27 ratings
Chase
1971
3.64 | 23 ratings
Ennea
1972
4.00 | 20 ratings
Pure Music
1974

CHASE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHASE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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CHASE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chase by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.92 | 27 ratings

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Chase
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gandalff

3 stars FOUR TRUMPETS ARE ENOUGH, DARLING!*

Firstly: I like jazz rock and fusion. Bands or artists like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Blood Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham, Colosseum or Flamengo (Czech super group) makes me quite hot. I like jazz combos - quartets, quintets etc. I like big bands too, but this music is better for me with rock elements (for example boostered guitar, hammond organ, heavy bass lines). I like sound of trumpet, sound of saxophone (especially baritone!) or trombone. I adore musical virtuosity of jazz/jazz rock/fusion masters!

Secondly: I don´t like CHASE nevertheless. There are all of things in their music I´ve written before... but their sound is quite different. Why? Because this music is simply OVERTRUMPETED:-) Four trumpets alone in brass section are IMO good for castle guard, but its using in any jazz rock band is unusual. Trumpets sound is sc. too high and makes me earache sometimes. Why there are no saxes, trombones, flutes there? (Maybe that´s a thing that diversifies this band from other ones. Maybe I´m stick-in-the-mud, used to classical line-up of brass section, i.e. trump., tensax., altsax., tromb.)

Thirdly: Despite it, the music on Chase´s first eponymous album is very good. Musicians are excellent of course, vocals are marvellous, reminds me foregoing band BS&T. Perfect guitars, drums, keyboards, bassguitar! That´s a pity the brass quartet is somehow...strange!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Paraphrase of the name of classical Czech crazy comedy "Four murders are enough, darling!" (1970)

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 Pure Music by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 20 ratings

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Pure Music
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Ennea did not repeat the commercial success of the band's debut album, due to the lack of a top 40 hit, which made Bill Chase make a few new changes is the lineup and sound department. The new additions included most notably Jim Peterik on vocals, who will be later known for his work with Survivor and their '80s hit Eye of the Tiger. But the new vocalist proved to have surprisingly little work on this album since almost 80% of Pure Music consists of just that!

Sound-wise the music had moved away from the typical early '70s U.S. big band sound and was now, for most part, pure Jazz Rock/Fusion material that most fans of the genre connect to the late '70s albums where this music was arguably at its peak. Of course Chase had not yet entirely lost their commercial aspirations and the album does feature two shorter performances where Run Back To Mama is quite a fun little track while Love Is On The Way is not so much due to its pretty obvious direction and laughable lyrics.

All of the four instrumentals on Pure Music are credited to Bill Chase which was the first time since the debut album opener Open Up Wide that he would solely be credited for the material. These compositions are easily the best moments in the band's discography with tight experimental Jazz Rock/Fusion performances that show how much the Chase had matured over the course of the previous two years. I like how Bill Chase finally went on to try the 7+ minute format that really seemed to fit the band's sound. Both Twinkles and Close Up Tight are excellent compositions well worth your attention. The former is easily this album's highlight that shows solo trumpet work from Bill Chase that definitely puts him among the best brass instrumentalists of our time.

Pure Music marks a career highlight for Chase which unfortunately would be the last one of its kind. The tragic plane crash on the way to a scheduled gig at the Jackson County Fair took the lives of Bill Chase, keyboardist Wally Yohn, drummer Walter Clark and guitarist John Emma marking the end of Chase. This event becomes even more heartbreaking when realizing that this was only the early days of Jazz Rock/Fusion and who knows what gems Chase could have offered the genre if only the band would continue on the same course towards the end of the '70s. This is definitely my favorite Chase-album and another excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Twinkles (7:15)

**** star songs: Weird Song #1 (5:40) Run Back To Mama (3:14) Bochawa (5:52) Close Up Tight (7:35)

*** star songs: Love Is On The Way (3:31)

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 Ennea by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 23 ratings

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Ennea
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars After scoring a minor hit with the debut album Chase followed it up with a much more commercially oriented release titled Ennea. There was a definite change of direction in comparison to the Chicago-sounding debut album mainly notable in the vocal department where G.G. Shinn has taken the lead vocals on all but two songs. This to me is a bit of a problem since I'm really not a fan of generic Jazz/Funk sounding vocalists that might be considered good for the genre but I lack a real personality. Also there aren't any instrumental compositions meaning that, more often than not, Shinn and the four trumpeters try to occupy the same space creating some really awkward moments like on I Can Feel It.

Still it's not all that bad and album's first side features quite a few excellent moments like the funky album opener Swanee River, the ballad It Won't Be Long and especially another magnificent interpretation of a cover depicted on So Many People. The remaining three songs are a bit more generic for my tastes although Woman Of The Dark manages to pull off a nice middle section, leading to another chorus repeat, that makes it a bit more interesting.

The album's side two is comprised of a suite titled Ennea, which is the Greek word for nine (ennéa) probably referring to the nine band members. The suite depicts the Greek mythology over the course of the six tracks, starting with Cronus (Saturn), and it's the album's definite highlight in terms of concept and delivery. The tracks flow into each other and create a groove that just didn't exist on the album's earlier tracks and the material definitely justifies being considered progressive. My personal favorites are the two Aphrodite sections that rely a lot more on the atmosphere than the standard Jazz sound.

Even though this album comes close to the level of excellence worthy to be discovered by a lot more people I will have to go for the good, but non-essential rating because I enjoy the other two Chase albums just a bit more that this one. Still, if you've heard and enjoy the debut album and/or Pure Music then this album is a great continuation of the Chase legacy well worth your time.

***** star songs: So Many People (2:44) Aphrodite Part I (Venus) (1:59)

**** star songs: Swanee River (3:12) It Won't Be Long (3:08) Woman Of The Dark (6:01) Cronus (Saturn) (4:48) Zeus (Jupiter) (4:36) Poseidon (Neptune) (2:34) Aphrodite Part II (Venus) (3:37) Hades (Pluto) (3:38)

*** star songs: Night (2:42) I Can Feel It (2:55)

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 Chase by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.92 | 27 ratings

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Chase
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 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)

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 Chase by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.92 | 27 ratings

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Chase
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Inverted

5 stars Hello Groceries!

It's a crying shame that I only own this album as a hand-me-down from my father in Audio-Cassette form. Even in its inconvenient to listen to form, I find a certain magic each time I listen. (Perhaps I fear the tape breaking, and only being left with memories of one of the greatest unknown albums of all time)

I cannot express my absolute love for this album. Tight Brass, good rock, a recipe for success. Amazing complexity through the brass. The orchestration is fantastic, and each song holds its own. "Invitation to a River" may be the backbone of the album, with the very experimental feel to it. As avant-garde as it may sound with echo chamber experimentation and ambient sounds, the aggressive Brass and overall power of Terry Richard's vocals push this epic to the top.

This is not to discredit the shorter songs, which, as well, manage to capture an amazing amount of power, a "zing-factor" if you will. "Get it On" has an energy to it that is difficult to explain. The excitement created between the brass, the organ, and the absolutely rocking bass line makes one want to jump out of his chair and break into dancing. In top form Fusion at its best, really. At 2:25, the brass breaks down into one of the most beautiful arrangements for any brass section that I have ever heard, sort of a "raining" of brass.

This is the exact type of band that ProgArchives needs to add, crisp, clean, prog-meets-jazz. It's fusion in top form. If Alex Lifeson or Steve Howe are the guitar champions in the prog world, one could assume (and I would second the assumption) that Bill Chase is the "trumpet god" of the prog world.

A masterwork in every way; any prog collection would be lacking without some fusion, and this is a fusion GEM. 5 Stars.

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 Pure Music by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 20 ratings

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Pure Music
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Less rock, more jazz and r&b. But it's still interesting ..!

I was surprised knowing that the opening track "Weird Music No. 1"(5:38) has more keyboard work than previously dominated trumpet work albums - but it's still great CHASE that I have known so far. The song opens with a very nice (and smooth!) bass guitar work that brings the music in its fluent form augmented wonderfully with jazzy drum and keyboards. The trumpet quartets fill their contribution in crescendo. Drum provides nice accentuation during transition pieces. What follows is a stream of brass section work that brings the music in its peak and it suddenly stops - ... then it's continued with nice drum beats and bass guitar work. WOW man! It's a great adventure of music presented by this brass rock band. Compared to previous albums, this song tries to give more contribution in keyboard. It does not mean that the trumpets - which has characterized the identity of CHASE - has less work to do. It's still a lot and interesting. The keyboard solo is presented nicely during interlude and guitar provides rhythm section, brass provides accentuation. It's really a nice arrangement, musically.

"Run Back To Mama" (3:11) starts with trumpet quartets and acoustic guitar in the vein of Blood Sweat & Tears style. While the opening track is fully instrumental, this second track is with vocal - but not in high register notes like previous album (self titled and "Ennea"). Again, keyboard is given more chance to give its solo augmented with excellent stream of trumpet blows from four players. Bass guitar is quite dominant as well as beat keeper. The music is in a way has some R&B flavor.

"Twinkles" (7:12) starts mellow with bass guitar solo and some keyboard effects. What follows is a trumpet solo, played nicely and softly and it produces a flugelhorn-like sound. Any of you know CHUCK MANGIONE - one of the best flugelhorn players in the world? If you know him, this trumpet solo is very similar with his music style. It's a stunning solo. This is an instrumental track, delivered in jazz style - no rock element at all.

"Bochawa" (5:47) is a big band-like music in a combination of R&B, jazz and a bit of rock exploring the keyboard work infused with trumpet quartets and tight basslines. Trumpet solo performed by multi instruments in the middle is stunning. You would love this track for sure. Oh by the way .. I love the sounds of Hammond organ in the middle of this track, augmented with multi trumpets sound that accompany the Hammond. It's really a GREAT instrumental track. Guitar is also given its chance to fill the solo part.

The other two tracks " Love Is On The Way" (3:45) and "Close Up Tight" (7:36) are also excellent. My favorite is the last track which resembles great arrangements in terms of how rhythms section (bass, guitar and drums) provides jazzy style to the soloists, i.e. trumpets, and keyboards. The song structure is also excellent - it brings our emotion along with the music where all ups and downs of the music are presented in excellent way.

This album is different in style than its two predecessors. However, Bill Chase is brilliant that the change of style does not impact on the main characyeristic of CHASE music, overall. It does deliver the jazz rock fusion using brass section with more emphasize on jazz than rock - but it still paints the picture of CHASE music. Unfortunately, this band was short-lived because most of band members (including Bill Chase) died on plane crash. So tragic. But CHASE has left excellent legacy of great music everyone should emulate. I urge you to have this album in your collection. EXCELLENT. Keep on proggin ' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Ennea by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 23 ratings

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Ennea
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The best reference for any brass band!

When I heard for the first time (I think it was in 1981) "Woman of the Dark", I was so impressed with how rockin' the music is and how the brass rock music flows wonderfully from start to end. This song which made me explore further on the music of Chase. I found the self titled album and later I found "Pure Music".

The beauty of Chase music is on its composition, combining song writing, arrangement and structure. On song writing, Bill Chase focused on how brass (read: trumpets) instruments are being used to the fullest as music fills, solo and in fact rhythm section in some segments. Count the number of trumpet players in this album! There are four gentlemen: Bill Chase / Lead Trumpet, Ted Piercefield / Trumpet, vocals (Lead vocal on "Night"), Alan Ware / Trumpet, Jerry Blair / Trumpet. You can imagine how "noisy" the music with four trumpets which in most of the time play high register notes.On arrangement, the band focused the music delivery which revolves around a combination of jazz and classic rock. On structure, it's basically quite straightforward rock music but there are some curved lines as well - in some segments.

The best of best tracks this album has is "Woman of The Dark". It starts wonderfully with a blow of single trumpet solo in very high register notes. I believe Billl Chase played this part. It is then followed with cymbals and bass guitar. The music blasts off wonderfully when all trumpets blow high register notes and the vocal line in high register notes as well enters the music. The music moves in a rockin' mode where in some segments the four trumpets demonstrate their blows wonderfully. Bass guitar is also an interesting instrument to observe as the contribution is significant. The interlude comprises the demonstration of trumpet solo in intertwined fashion. It's really cool. Next is an epic "Ennea" which comprises four parts organized in each individual track: a) Cronus (Saturn) 4:46, b) Zeus (Jupiter) 4:36 c) Poseidon (Neptune) 2:27, d) Aphrodite Part I (Venus) 2:02, e) Aphrodite Part II (Venus) 3:36, f) Hades (Pluto) 3:34. The epic is also a wonderful one. My top one is the opening sequel "Cronus". Why I love this track so much? I think is more on the time signature and the timing when guitar solo takes its part - it's so precise and wonderfully composed! Oh man .. I cannot describe precisely in writing but for sure I can tell you exactly where the parts with great entrance. For example I can tell you the guitar entrance at minute 0:47 is really great! That's one example only. The music interlude featuring guitar solo is also stunning - with dynamic bass and trumpet fills. "Zeus" is also great especially when it's enjoyed seamlessly from previous track. The jazz elements sound much more clear in this track.

I tend to give this album a five star rating because of its wonderful composition and performance. Any band with brass instrument in jazz rock style must compare themselves with this album. The brass arrangement is really wonderful. 4.75 stars!!!! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Chase by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.92 | 27 ratings

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Chase
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It's better than anyone else in BRASS ROCK!

WOW! Many many thanks to colleague collaborator Easy Livin who has added this wonderful band to this site. This band really deserves to be included here even more than Blood Sweat & Tears. Why? It's a very simple reason: take this LP or CD with you and go straight to last track "Invitation toa River" which comprises four parts - it's basically an epic. I'm making the statement not because of there is an epic being featured here, rater, I look at from an angle where the music of this epic is purely prog to the bone! What subject you wanna discuss? Changes in styles? There is a lot of segments in this song that feature changes in style from basic upbeat music with acrobatic trumpet shots played by four brilliant musicians, including Bill Chase (RIP). Complex composition? Oh yes, you can find many complex arrangements right here especially with the stream of four trumpet players blowing very very HIGH register notes augmented beautifully with guitar solo and bass. You will also find that this song is quite unique in terms of instruments used. I rarely find any prog music which elaborates trumpet to deliver the composition. And .. this is NOT just a trumpet but FOUR trumpets working togeter, combining some series of notes intertwined dynamically with trumpet solo. The vocal line is also wonderful.

What coincidence that before I knew that CHASE is already included here, I discussed this band through an interactive discussions with friends in Indonesia through blogging. It was basically trigerred by the time when I was teens, there was cassette format of this album, distributed by recording company in Bandung (Yess). It's a precious cassette for me because I had never heard trumpet being played with VERY HIGH register notes which no one else did before! Bill Chase is great!

Overall, if you enjoy brass rock with prog approach, don't waste your time .. purchase this album!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Ennea by CHASE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 23 ratings

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Ennea
Chase Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars They don't look like Greek gods!

Chase's second album was released in 1972, the title "Ennea" being the Greek word for nine, the number of members in the band. The recording of the album was not without its problems, with both the lead singer and the drummer being replaced along the way. After their trumpet dominated debut album, "Ennea" saw band leader Bill Chase attempting to dilute the emphasis on that instrument.

The brief single taken from the album "So many people" was included on the lavish CBS (Columbia) sampler "The music people". As such, it served for many people in the UK, including myself, as an introduction to Chase. The sound is of a BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS like brass filled rock song. Although it is very short, the track builds from a soft beginning to a wonderful cacophony of screaming brass, with powerful vocals (this was the only track on the album to feature Terry Richards on lead vocals) and a superb melody. An epic in under three minutes.

The album opens though with a bizarre jazz rock take on the old standard "Swanee river" with wailing trumpets and harsh rock vocal by GG Shin (the principal singer on the album). Any resemblance between this version and the downbeat original is fleeting indeed! "Night" sees the third lead vocalist in as many tracks, with trumpet player Ted Piercefield's David Clayton-Thomas excellent like voice raising the question "why did he not sing more"?

The remaining tracks on side one borrow heavily from the style of BS&T and CHICAGO, Bill Chase's trumpet never being far from centre stage. The strong melodies are enhanced by the superb musicianship on display, including some fine organ work by Phil Porter on "I can feel it".

The second side of the album is dedicated entirely to a side long suite whose theme is the Greek Gods and their associated planets. The first section "Cronus" has some fine lead guitar work by Angel South, the trumpet quartet pushing Shin's vocals to ever higher levels. Shin's vocal style is actually quite similar to that of ARTHUR BROWN, a point brought home through his excited performance on "Zeus". The gentler "Aphrodite", in two parts, offers a welcome lightening of the pace and sound, while acting as a counterpoint to the frantic closer "Hades".

"Ennea" is sadly a largely forgotten album by a largely forgotten band. Hopefully, Chase's addition to ProgArchives will help to redress that injustice, at least to some extent.

The sleeve has a picture of the nine band members lined up as a fine example of what not to do with facial hair. If that was not bad enough, we get a mirror image of the same picture on the reverse!

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Thanks to easy livin for the artist addition.

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