Being one of ourf avourite brass rock outfits, Chase have been featured many times on The Dinosaur Days. As we do around about this time every year, we feature a track by this excellent band as a tribute to leader and trumpet player, Bill Chase, who, together with three other members, keyboard player Wally Yohn, drummer Walter Clark and guitarist John Emma, was killed in an aircraft crash in Minnesota in the US on August 9th, 1974. Bill Chase had previously featured with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson prior to forming his nine piece brass rock outfit in 1971. All three Chase albums are available on CD and are highly recommended.
Chase - I can feel it, taken off their second album, "Ennea", released in 1972. "Ennea" means "nine" in Greek ( or "no" in German, which....sorry, it's been a long week! Nein - geddit?). Anyway, Chase were a tremendously powerful nine piece American brass rock outfit formed by trumpet player Bill Chase in 1970. Bill Chase had previously featured with jazz greats Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman and Stan Kenton. He wanted to branch out into the brass/rock field and he formed this awesome band, featuring no less than four trumpet players ( himself, Alan Ware, Ted Piercefield and Jerry van Blair ), an amazing guitarist in Angel South, Phil Porter on keyboards, Dennis Johnson on bass, Jay Burrid on drums and Terry Richards on vocals. Their first self-titled album, a copy of which is actually the giveaway prize in this week's Dino Quiz, was released in 1971 to critical acclaim. Their minor hit, " Get it on ", was taken off this album. Vocalist G.G.Schinn replaced Terry Richards on this second album ( get a load of this guy's range!), and new drummer Gary Smith featured on most of the tracks. Both albums had two fairly long conceptual tracks, one based on the various Greek gods such as Poseidon and Zeus, on "Ennea", and the other called " Invitation to a River", on the first album. If you want to get your dog breakdancing around the room, just crank up the volume of the trumpet at the end of the track " Zeus" - that's got to be the highest note ever attained by a trumpet! Tragedy struck as Chase were really starting to be noticed with the release of their final album, " Pure Music", in 1974: At this stage, Bill Chase was the only remaining member of the original band, and he was now moving in a more fusion orientated direction ( similar to what B,S &T would later do on their "Nuclear Blues" album in 1980 ). Bill Chase, keyboard player Wally Yohn, guitarist John Emma and drummer Walter Clark were all killed in an aircraft crash on 09 August 1974. Chase had the potential to be as big, popularity-wise, as Tower of Power or Chicago, but it was not to be. Their three albums are worth their weight in gold and are essential listening for anybody into brass rock. They are fondly remembered by the many people who saw them on the two occasions that they visited these shores in the early seventies.
Chase - Get it On, from "Chase", their self-titled debut album, released in 1971. You can read up elsewhere in these pages about trumpet player Bill Chase and his powerful brass rock outfit, which he formed in 1970. Our featured track, which reached the US Top 30 in July of 1971, forced Marc Bolan of T-Rex to rename his smash hit "Get it On" to "Bang a Gong" for the US market. Chase were different to other brass rock bands such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears in that they didn't have a sax or flute player, just four trumpet/flugelhorn players (Ted Piercefield, Jerry van Blair, Alan Ware and Bill Chase), backed by a tremendously powerful rhythm section of bassist/vocalist Dennis Johnson, guitarist/vocalist Angel South , drummer Jay Burrid, keyboard player Phil Porter and vocalist Terry Richards. This line-up featured on the band's debut album, with Richards being replaced by G.G. Shinn and new drummer Gary Smith replacing Burrid for the follow-up album, "Ennea", which came out in 1972. Both the debut and the second album were conceptual in parts, the second being based on Greek mythology. Chase's final album, "Pure Music", saw Bill Chase as the only remaining original member. This album, released in 1974, featured Wally Yohn on keyboards, John Emma on guitar, Dartanyan Brown on bass and vocals, Tom Gordon on drums, Jim Peterik (ex-Mariah, later to form Survivor), on vocals. The new trumpet players were Jim Oates, Jay Sollenberger and Joe Morrissey, together with Bill Chase. Although all three albums are brilliant examples of pioneering jazz/brass-rock, the band appeared to be peaking with the release of "Pure Music". Fate would prevent Chase from being recognized as one of the world's premier brass rock outfits: an a ircraft crash on August 9, 1974, claimed the lives of Bill Chase, John Emma, Wally Yohn and new drummer Walt Clark. The two pilots of the twin engined C ommanche also perished. A truly tragic ending to a band that had much to offer.
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Biography by Bruce Eder
Mention the term "jazz-rock" and
listeners will likely think of
such acts as Blood, Sweat &
Tears, Chicago, or Weather
Report; but in the early 1970's,
a band called Chase was a rival
to all of them, and bidded fair
to take the country by storm; in
fact, for a little while in
1971, they did precisely that
with a chart-topping single, a
Grammy nomination, and a high
place in reader polls. Chase was
formed by trumpet virtuoso Bill
Chase in 1970, at a time when,
thanks to outfits like Chicago
and Blood, Sweat & Tears, the
public was beginning an
infatuation with jazz-rock
fusion. Though its roots went
back to 1968, Chase came along
at just the right moment to ride
that wave to major chart success
in 1971, with the hit single
"Get It On" and the accompanying
self-titled debut album.
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