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Chicago - The Chicago Transit Authority CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 187 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Chicago Transit Authority - st (1969)

Amazing recording! Just.. amazing...

The Chicago Transit Authority, which would soon after this album be called just 'Chicago', is a highly original band. Not only were they a great heavy-soul-rock band, they had found a winning formula combining it with a four-men wind-section! Imagine; Deep Purple with a wind-section, a bit of Colosseum perhaps, some progressive influences (occasional it reminds me a bit of the debut of Magma), some very catchy song-writing, a powerful sounds with Wagnerian impact at times, amazing soul vocals and the best of guitar solo's! This is Chicago. The debut is double album with a lot of high quality material and some nice experiments. Technically I would say this album is prog-related, for Jazz is not the prominent style here. There are some great jazz-elements and solo's though.

The band plays either songs with often longer instrumental/melodic parts or plays a big jam with extended guitar solo's. One exception is the seven minute guitar-rape Free Form Guitar, which is a bit too long but very experimental indeed.

Oke, let's face it. This is one of the best studio-recordings of '69. This album sounds simply amazing! All instruments are recorded very good and I had a hard time believing this was recorded in '69. Revolutionary rock moment from that perspective!

Conclusion. If this review got you interested, I would recommend to listen to Beginnings on youtube and then buy if you like this amazing track. I liked this albums at first spin because of it's innovative approach on rock and it's amazing sound. All musicians are great and the guitarist is simply amazing! Recommended to fans of sixties/seventies rock music, jazz- rock and bands like Colosseum & early Soft Machine. This albums makes me want to dance at times! Four stars, and a very big recommendation for this accessible masterpiece.

p.s I already found a vinyl copy of the second album, so there's more to come!

friso | 4/5 |


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