A trio of albums from Chase – one of the hippest jazz rock
combos of the 70s! The self-titled Chase album first burned onto the market in 1971 – and it's a great distillation of a groove that was bubbling around in various other segments at the time – some of the tighter big band rhythms of the late 60s, as you might find in the work of Maynard Ferguson or Woody Herman – mixed with the hipper rhythms from the rock
ish underground, particularly in the work of Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago. Chase is a fair bit jazzier than both of those groups – as they often put the horns more upfront than the vocals – although most numbers do have some sort of vocals as well. Instrumentation is heavy on trumpets – which come together in blasting, blaring groove, even despite the smaller size of the combo – and Phil Porter lays down some great keyboard lines that really help some of the best tracks cook nicely. Titles include "Handbags & Gladrags", "Livin In Heat", "Open Up Wide", "Hello Groceries", "Boys & Girls Together", and "Invitation To A River". Ennea is a jazz rock
classic that still sounds pretty darn tasty today – forged on the heels of Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, but with a sound that's leaner and meaner! The group's led by trumpeter Bill Chase – hence their name – and features lead vocals by GG Shinn and Terry Richards, both in a style that's got the same blue
-eyed jazz soul overtones as that used by the groups mentioned above. The real strength of the tracks, though, is their jazzy backings – horn-heavy, as you'd expect, and hitting some great riffs and licks on the album's side-long title "suite", which features many instrumental passages. Titles include "Hades", "Aphrodite (parts 1 & 2)", "Zeus", "Poseidon", "Cronus", "It Won't Be Long", "I Can Feel It", and "Night". Pure Music is the third album from the mighty Chase – and proof that the group was still going strong even after their groundbreaking debut! The grooves here are almost tighter than before – a bit more complicated instrumentally, with some of the trumpets backed off a bit, to leave more room for great lines on guitar and keyboards. There's still some vocals on the record, but they seem a bit more on the backburner than before – and titles include "Close Up Tight", "Twinkles", "Weird Song #1", "Run Back To Mama", and "Bochawa".