Friday, October 07, 2005


I remember my father telling me about Bill Chase when I was in high school. He said that Chase was a pretty cool jazz rock band in the 70's with an intense trumpet section. He played some Chase on the stereo for me and it actually sounded like Maynard Ferguson playing along with King Crimson or some other 70's prog-rock band. I've been a fan ever since.

Initially a classical trumpet player, Bill Chase shifted to jazz when he saw and heard a young trumpet player in Stan Kenton's band. That trumpet player evidently was Maynard Ferguson. Maynard can be heard everywhere in the playing of Bill Chase. He ended up playing lead trumpet with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, and Woody Herman. Chase eventually grew tired of being just a trumpet player in the background. He wanted to make the trumpet the main element of a band. This band would be known simply as Chase. Chase were basically a rock band fronted by four trumpets. The results were loud to say the least. They even opened up for Black Sabbath. At times they were told to tone down their performances because the headlining bands were having trouble following them. In all, Chase released three albums with mixed success. Changes in lineups and changes in public taste constantly lead Bill Chase to explore different directions to take his band. Unfortunately, we can only wonder what could have been. In August 1974, Bill Chase along with three members of his band perished in a plane crash while en route to a gig in Minnesota. He was only 39.

MP3: Cronus (Saturn) by Chase from Ennea (One Way Records)
MP3: Weird Song #1 by Chase from Pure Music (One Way Records)

Check out los amigos de durutti and drop a line to Matt. He has a classic Maynard cut with some intense screeching as well as some funky Chick Corea tracks. Definitely check it out. Thanks Matt for the cool words.


Blogger matt said...

Yo Chris-- I gotta say i'm impressed. A Bill Chase post that includes no less than Weird Song -- my favorite Chase track. Love your blog. And Hey -- thanks for the comment and link! I've returned the favor. Plus, your first month of posts inspired me to add Maynard's cover of La Fiesta to my recent jazz funk & jazz rock posts. Great work and great start w/ sonic reducer!!

6:15 PM  
Anonymous IanB said...

THanks for the comment @ RetroBabe! I've Blogrolled you !!


9:34 AM  
Blogger etnobofin said...

Woah. These guys can PLAY. Bill Chase is new to my ears, and their rhythm section reminds me of mid-70's Zappa. Great post! :-)

And how many bands die in plane crashes on the way to gigs...? It seems to happen a lot more than you would think...

1:04 PM  
Blogger Taxi Driver said...

It's either plain chrash ... or liver failure or lung cancer later on ... ;)

ps. good music !!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Taxi Driver said...

Plain ... or 'plane ... that is the question!?!

1:36 PM  
Blogger matt said...

Hey Chris -- thanks for the shout out!

p.s. I assume you have the first Chase album, right? If not, i should (ysi) email the opening track to you -- Open Up Wide. Talk about a fanfare of screaching trumpets! And its makes a lot of Maynard's 70's stuff sound extra silly. (i actually have two vers. of Open Up Wide -- talk about jazz nerd!)

10:44 PM  
Blogger Chris C. said...

Matt, I don't have it. I only have the lp cover. Unfortunately, another record was in the sleeve. I'd appreciate it.


12:46 PM  

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