A pair 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 rockish 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".
(Hybrid Super Audio CD pressing – also works on standard CD players!)