Thursday, May 31, 2012
Chase - Listen to Her Sing (1996)
This is not an officially released album, but chronologically it falls between their second and third released albums. This album is very rare as it was released in the 90s to a small print run. It shows a band in transition; those familiar with the Chase discography will recognize some tunes, but a fair amount of the tunes are new material in familiar styles but also drastically different ones. The first and last groups of tracks are actually from live concerts, but the middle of the album is entirely unreleased studio recordings. Actually, the reason this material was never released is because the majority of it did not fit the mold of what Epic wanted Chase to sound like. A personal favorite "Listen to Her Sing," a ballad, which while primarily a vocal tune showcases Bill Chase during a high note melodic part and has a very memorable guitar solo. The track "Dead" shows how well the Chase trumpet section is in the upper register as well as singer G.G. Shinn's control of the stratosphere of his tenor voice. Of the familiar material "Close Up Tight," is a fine early rendition of the closing track of Pure Music. It swings more than its later counterpart, has driving bass lines, and showcases a variety of soloists of the band. Unusually, trumpeter Ted Piercefield takes a solo on valve trombone, an instrument not typically heard on a Chase recording. Most impressively, the final solo of the tracks taken by trumpeter Jerry Van Blair show a very mature, fantastic jazz soloist with connected, interesting lines. For all the flak jazz-rock takes for being an attempt at commercial appeal of jazz in the 60s and the 70s, Chase often overcomes this notion with some of their tracks. From the solos, the writing, and the outlook of the band Chase and its leader Bill Chase was a nonet playing jazz and rock and doing both well.