8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fiery scream trumpet virtuosity; a must for brass lovers.,
This review is from: Chase (Audio CD)
Bill Chase was truly an extraordinary trumpet player and musician. His accuracy in the upper register is still in my opinion un-surpassed, with the exception of very few. Bill Chase also had a better sound in the stratosphere than just about anyone, in my opinion. Many have compared Chase and Maynard, and have brought up who they think is greater, and while I will not sway over to one side, I will say it's close. At this particular level of performance it's best to simply acknowledge both players as amazing. However, I will say Chase had one of the most wonderful sounds and he was also so extremely accurate. His sound never shook or strained a bit. Total accuracy. He also had great improvisational skills and had lead chops that were as good as anyone's. This album with his cross-over band Chase from 1970 is his most well-known effort. The band is four trumpets and a rhythm sections, almost a bit like a trumpet choir. While the vocals are not the best part of the album by any means, the trumpet playing will keep you listening over and over, and the vocals are pretty good in spots. Ted Piercefield and Terry Richards do the majority of the singing, and do a pretty decent job. However, it is Chase himself who will move you with brilliant soloing and pinpoint lead playing. The album starts out with a tune appropriately titled "Open Up Wide", which starts out immediately with Chase shrieking out Double G's and C's with such an amazing, full sound. This song is also an instrumental, and Chase leads the band in this energetic anthem. This is without a doubt my favorite song on the album, simply because Chase solos heroically and ends on a daring riff but basically goes insane through the whole solo. It just sounds great. Also, listen to the organ solo, the organist is also insane, and was a former Howard McGhee (another under-rated trumpet player who is great) band member. The backgrounds are also amazing, Chase and company play them, then play them again up an octave, and scream it on out. Astounding. "Livin' In Heat" is a deep song of sorts about growing up and carrying a chip on your shoulder and has a nice little tune to it. Chase and company do a wonderful job of backing everything up. This is clear, crisp lead playing at its finest. The notorious "Hello Groceries" is a classic rock-influenced tune with obvious sexual references. This song might make some roll their eyes at the lyrics, but Chase's playing on this track is great as usual, with excellent control and sound. "Handbags And Gladrags" is a cool song with an oldies flavor and is catchy with great trumpet playing. "Get It On" is probably the album's most well-known song, but it's not even my favorite one on the Chase album. However it is a lot of fun and a great anthem-like trumpet feature where the Chase band does the famous octave jumps they're so well-known for, and Chase soars above the band. "Boys And Girls Together" is another one I really like, among my favorites in this collection. It's just a swinging song that will pull at the heartstrings. However, the edgiest piece is saved for last, which is, of course, "Invitation To A River". I have to say that Bill Chase's trumpet intro (what he plays in the first thirty-forty seconds) is one of the most amazing, heroic entrances I have ever heard. Also, the High E's are perfectly focused and accurate (sorry I'm heading into trumpet geek territory). This intro alone shows Bill Chase's heroic ability on the trumpet and what he has done for the trumpet. The piece is about a torrid love affair gone wrong, and is comprised of five parts, beginning with "Two Minds Meet". This part is my favorite because it's energetic, fiery, happy and Chase trades wonderfully with Terry Richards, leading the band. Then it moves into the slower, darker movement of "Stay" and "Paint It Sad", which displays the different moods. Chase solos insanely here, playing beautiful, screaming notes and also doing sickeningly amazing multiple tonguing in the stratosphere! "Reflection" is an ad-lib which moves into "River", which includes the finale, a tragic ending. While some may this piece is a bit weird, I find it amazing, because it combines great storytelling with great trumpet playing.
I was really pleased to read all of the other reviews here on Amazon of Chase. I'm glad that there are so many others who appreciate the beauty of the trumpet sound that was Bill Chase. Unfortunately, his all too premature death along with other members of Chase in a plane crash put an end to a legacy that way too many are not even aware of. I think it's important that Chase is properly remembered, because had they lived, they would be (without a doubt) just as well-known as Chicago, Maynard Ferguson or Blood, Sweat & Tears.