Two for Tuesday: Chase

Time to be obscure again. This time, a band that only lasted three years. Bill Chase had studied classical trumpet at the New England Conservatory, but transferred to the Schillinger House of Music (later Berklee College) after hearing Maynard Feruson with Stan Kenton’s band. He had the opportunity to play with Ferguson and Kenton before landing with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd for most of the Sixties. In the late Sixties, he formed the band Chase with Ted Piercefield, Alan Ware and Jerry Van Blair joining him on trumpet, Angel South on guitar, Phil Porter on keyboards, Dennis Johnson on bass, Jay Burrid on drums, and Terry Richards doing the vocals. Their first album, released in 1971 and titled simply Chase, had their one big hit, “Get It On”, not included here (but you have the link). The album did reasonably well, and a year later, they released Ennea (the Greek word for nine, referring to the number of members of the band). Halfway through the recording, there were personnel changes, most notably G. G. Shinn joining the band on vocals. The album featured the “Ennea” suite, an entire side featuring songs honoring the Greek gods Cronos, Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, and Hades. (It was the Seventies; bands did that sort of thing.) There were further personnel changes, and the band released Pure Music in 1974, featuring songs written and sung by Jim Peterik, the leader of The Ides of March. On August 9 of that year, sadly, Bill and several members of the band were killed (as well as the pilot and co-pilot) when the Piper Comanche they were flying in crashed in Jackson, Minnesota. I considered a number of songs that featured Bill and the trumpet section’s brass pyrotechnics, but decided instead to post two of my favorite Chase songs. First is “Handbags and Gladrags,” written by Mike D’Abo and previously done by Rod Stewart. It was the next-to-last song on Side 1 of the Chase album, before “Get It On.” (This was the Seventies; we’re talking vinyl here.) The second, “It Won’t Be Long”, comes from Ennea (Side 1, track 4), and features G. G. Shinn on the vocal. YouTube has a number of live performances as well as practically the entire Chase oeuvre, as well as a number of Bill’s performances with Ferguson, Kenton and Herman. I hope you check them out. In any event, there’s your Two for Tuesday for October 8, 2012.

4 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Chase

    1. As I said, they were based in or around the Chicago area, so we heard about them more than other parts of the country, and they only released the three albums, so even those of us in the Chicago area who weren’t particularly tuned in to them don’t remember. Fans of the bands Bill Chase played with probably constituted the majority of their fans.

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