This double-CD set is not only the best of Bill Chase
's output but -- comprising all three of their albums -- virtually their complete finished studio work, before the plane crash that killed Chase
and much of the group. The mastering on this Wounded Bird reissue is excellent, with a full solid bass sound topped by soaring highs on the brass and no compression to speak of. It's not as though this catalog has been overused, in terms of its master tape library -- apart from the hit "Get It On" -- but it's still good to know that the stuff has been well handled in terms of being digitalized. Additionally, the producers have reprinted Nat Hentoff
's original essay about the group from their first album (and oh, for a time when college audiences could resonate to the writings of someone like Hentoff
, who is now as much of a legend as a writer as the jazz people he wrote about are as musicians....); and they've also reproduced the beautifully designed back covers of each album, as well as their front cover art. It's a bargain in any language, and a fresh opportunity to hear this band's repertory beyond their one and only hit and the album it was attached to. Chase
was much more than just a jazz-rock outfit looking for pop success, as those two subsequent albums reveal, in lush detail and rich textures (and bold, forceful nuances) on the second disc in this set. For not quite two hours of some of the better music to come from Columbia Records or that jazz-rock boom of the early '70s that wasn't made by Blood, Sweat & Tears
, grab it.