Ted Piercefield's Chasing My Dream, as titled, is interesting wordplay. You see, it not only is a highly accurate description of Piercefield's lengthy career in music and his fierce dedication to the art, but, this superb recording is also a musical acknowledgement and salute to one Bill Chase and his eponymous fire-breathing group.
Piercefield is a superior trumpeter, vocalist, composer and arranger and one of the original members of the legendary group, "Chase" with which ensemble he toured and also recorded (the group's first two albums). He's gathered together some of the finest musicians on the planet as performers (and advisors) on this marvelously entertaining album and it will deservedly have Chase (and probably "Chicago" and "Brooklyn Bridge") fans thrilled. As the album's namesake group certainly did, the horns are in the spotlight here. And, they're not only flying high screaming, pyramiding and cascading, but, there's some terrific mid-register jazz playing displayed, too.
All of the selections here are Piercefield-written and arranged originalsand, while they stand admirably on their own in the rock-jazz genre, they channel that unique "Chase" horn-heavy style admirably. "Forever One," (which kicks off the session and is a Round One KO) and "Just for You" are powerhouse emotion-wrenching instrumentals where trumpeters Lars Ranch and Greg Wing star. The cuts are so strong that either could easily be a "curtain closer" on an A-1 Vegas production show (of which Ted Piercefield and Bill Chase performed many). It's "lights out."
On this effort, Piercefield leaves his horn safely encased and grabs the mic exclusively. Astute listeners will hear not only a highly-energized singer, but one whose jazz-rock roots are solid and very much at the forefront ("Feelin' Fine," "You Accept Me"). Vocally, Piercefield has lost nothing but his longer locks since his singing in the early 70s with the later ill-fated group. His is a youthful and exuberant vocal presence ("Come Back Soon," "Love").
Piercefield incorporated some synth and electronic applications and orchestrations on this self-produced session. Although they're fine and well-done, perhaps on his next project those orchestrations might present themselves better live. His great material deserves it.
Chasing My Dream is a fine throwback to musical days that were simpler, a little less coarse and a hair more innocent. The music is highly approachable, invigorating and, dare I say, fun. It's a terrific "Bill and Ted's excellent adventure."
Forever One; Feelin' Fine; You Accept Me; Come Back Soon: Just for You; Love; Don't Say Goodbye; Feel Like Lovin'; Those Eyes.
Ted Piercefield: vocals (1-8); Lars Ranch: trumpet (5),flugelhorn (1,5); Greg Wing: trumpet (1,2,5,6); Clay Cropper: guitar, synthesizer, background vocals (6); Gary Smith: drums (6); Dennis Johnson: bass (6); Augie Bucci: organ, background vocals (6); Terry Richards: vocal (9); Jerry VanBlair: flugelhorn (9).
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