Danny Seraphine: The Road to Sacred Ground

Danny Seraphine: The Road to Sacred Ground
Belinda Ware By

Sign in to view read count
Chicago is by far one of the most prolific musical ensembles to emerge on the music scene with an array of number one hits that have proven to be timeless in global appeal. Chicago transformed music with the innovative creation of its signature jazz/rock sound, fueled by the band's solid horn section, blazing guitar work, and the renowned percussive talents of legendary drummer, Danny Seraphine.

Touring across America and around the world with Chicago, Seraphine has notably received accolades for his consistent high energy concert performances as well as in-studio production work, all of which has culminated in Chicago's longevity and a staying power that has crossed generations.

As an outright power drummer leading the band's groove, Seraphine set the foundation of Chicago's innovative fusion of jazz and rock in the solid rhythms heard on its successive hit singles including "25 or 6 to 4," "Take Me Back to Chicago" and "Street Player."

In retrospect, the basic essence of Chicago's pure sound changed the face of popular music, creating timeless original hits that received approval from both fans and critics as quickly as the new music hit the radio airwaves.

Seraphine, the man behind the percussive beat of Chicago's energy and drive, has accomplished what many drummers dream of achieving, including stepping into the shoes of becoming a solid record producer, resulting in a series of successive gold and platinum albums, as well as hit singles in the band's collective celebrated musical journey.

It is understandable that Seraphine has achieved his current status as one of the industry's most highly respected drummers, acknowledged by music critics and top musicians alike including the legendary Buddy Rich.

What comes next, post-Chicago, for Seraphine seems destiny driven as relates to his discovery of yet another power band that came together as a result of a few inspiring jam sessions of which he happened to be a part. Seraphine saw the clear vision to create a new band when he had the opportunity to step into an improvised jam session while in California with electric guitarist Marc Bonilla.

After a couple of power jam sessions together, Seraphine and Bonilla discovered their mutual musical synergy, leading Seraphine to add keyboardist Ed Roth, bassist Mick Mahan, keyboardist Peter Fish, a solid horn section featuring trombonists Francisco Torres and Nick Lane, and Tower of Power vocalist Larry Braggs to give birth to yet a new all star band, California Transit Authority (CTA).

The formation of this new ensemble inspired Seraphin's anticipated reunion with his former Chicago band mate, singer Bill Champlin that led him to bring Champlin's son, acclaimed vocalist Will Champlin, onboard, adding a soulful groove to the band's overall sound.

After intense production work in the studio over a period of three years, the result is the official CD release, Sacred Ground (Street Sense Records, 2013), representing the official independent debut of CTA led by Seraphine, a man on a mission to take the musical sound of jazz/rock to the next level of creation.

Overall, the project is exemplary in terms of the band's collective sound—a mixture of jazz, funk and solid original music for the new millennium.

The title track is reminiscent of Chicago's powerful sound, with the flavor of a new signature jazz/funk groove alongside a variety of other songs that are equally well-produced, including notable instrumentals like "Primetime" and "In the Kitchen." Braggs delivers a solid vocal rendition on "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," one of the original hits of another iconic group,Blood, Sweat, Drum + Bass. CTA's modern version of "Take Me Back to Chicago" emotes a solid jazz/rock feel true to Chicago's form.

In a recent interview, Seraphine had this to share about CTA. "It's taken me a while to get here, but I feel like CTA is in a very good place. I'm very proud of this band, and I feel like we've made a record that will stand up for generations to come."

Related Video


More Articles

Read Lee Ritenour: Behind a "Twist of Rit" Tell Me More Lee Ritenour: Behind a "Twist of Rit"
by Belinda Ware
Published: December 4, 2015
Read Keb' Mo': Blues Meets Jazz in BluesAmericana Tell Me More Keb' Mo': Blues Meets Jazz in BluesAmericana
by Belinda Ware
Published: August 30, 2015
Read Cyrille Aimee: It's a Good Day Tell Me More Cyrille Aimee: It's a Good Day
by Belinda Ware
Published: March 3, 2015
Read Stacey Kent: Songs in the Key of Love and Life Tell Me More Stacey Kent: Songs in the Key of Love and Life
by Belinda Ware
Published: April 30, 2014
Read Lili Añel: Finding Bliss by Climbing the Wall Tell Me More Lili Añel: Finding Bliss by Climbing the Wall
by Belinda Ware
Published: January 20, 2014
Read George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration Tell Me More George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration
by Belinda Ware
Published: September 20, 2013
Read "New Order: Complete Music" Extended Analysis New Order: Complete Music
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Nick Brignola: Big Horn, Strong Words" Interviews Nick Brignola: Big Horn, Strong Words
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Stan Getz" Building a Jazz Library Stan Getz
by Mark Barnett
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "The Fairfield Four in Little Rock" Live Reviews The Fairfield Four in Little Rock
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!