Chase (band)

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Chase is an American jazz rock band. They are best known for their hit single, "Get It On" (1971).


The band Chase was created in 1970 by Bill Chase,[1] Ted Piercefield, Alan Ware, and Jerry Van Blair, all veteran jazz trumpeters who were also adept at vocals and arranging. They were backed up by a rhythm section consisting of Phil Porter on keyboards, Angel South (born Lucian Gondron) on guitar, Dennis Johnson on bass, and Jay Burrid (born John Mitthauer) on percussion. Rounding out the group was Terry Richards, who was featured as lead vocalist on the first album. In April 1971, the band released their debut album, Chase, which contains Chase's best-known song, "Get It On", released as a single that spent 13 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 beginning in May 1971, eventually peaking at #24 in July of that year. The song features what Jim Szantor of Downbeat magazine called "the hallmark of the Chase brass—complex cascading lines; a literal waterfall of trumpet timbre and technique".[citation needed] The band received a Best New Artist Grammy Award nomination, but was edged out by Carly Simon. 1971 proved to be the band's most fruitful with television spots on the Tonight Show and Tommy Smother's Organic Prime Time Space Ride. Chicago's WBBM televised a 1/2 hour special featuring the group but was aired only around the Chicago area. Appearances at both the Kansas City Jazz and Newport Jazz Festival boosted the band's popularity.

Chase released their second album, Ennea, in March 1972; the album's title is the Greek word for nine, a reference to the nine band members. The original line-up changed midway through the recording sessions, with Gary Smith taking over on drums and G. G. Shinn replacing Terry Richards on lead vocals. Although the first Chase album sold nearly 400,000 copies, Ennea was not as well received by the public. As Bill Chase put it in a Downbeat interview, "I don't want people to be heavily conscious of a trumpet section. They should just hear good things, but not be clobbered over the head with brass."[citation needed] A single, "So Many People", received some radio play. Following an extended hiatus, Chase re-emerged early in 1974 with the release of Pure Music, their third album. Featuring a new line-up, yet keeping the four-trumpet section headed by Bill Chase, the group moved further from the rock idiom, and became more focused on jazz. Variety magazine called Pure Music "probably Chase's most commercial effort, and their brand of jazz could have a commercial impact".[citation needed] Some of the songs were written by Jim Peterik of the Ides of March, who also sings on two songs on the album, backing up singer and bassist Dartanyan Brown.

Plane crash[edit]

Chase's work on a fourth studio album in mid-1974 came to an end on August 9, 1974.[2] While en route to a scheduled performance at the Jackson County Fair in Minnesota, Bill Chase died at the age of 39 in the plane crash of a chartered twin-engine Piper Twin Comanche[3] in Jackson, Minnesota.[2] Also killed, along with the pilot and a female companion, were keyboardist Wally Yohn, drummer Walter Clark, and guitarist John Emma.[2]

In 1977 a Chase tribute band (composed primarily of the original line-up, and an added Walt Johnson) recorded an album entitled Watch Closely Now.

In 2014, Chase was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.


Bass player Dartanyan Brown is now a music teacher on the faculty of Marin Academy in San Rafael, California.[4]

Trumpet player Jim Oatts is a member of the adjunct faculty of Simpson College in Iowa.[5]

Trumpet player and vocalist Ted Piercefield's album, Chasing my Dream, will be included on the soundtrack of the 2016 movie Where Heaven and Hell Collide.[6]

Drummer John "Jay Burrid" Mitthaur lives in San Antonio, Texas where he usually plays with Johnny P. and The Wiseguys.

The lead vocalist on Ennea, G.G. Shinn, died on August 7, 2018, in Monroe, Louisiana, after a long illness.



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2018-02-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 267. CN 5585.
  3. ^ Jackson, Minnesota, "Plane tragedy near Jackson ends career of Bill Chase", Jackson County Pilot, 14 August 1974, Volume 84, Number 12, page 1.
  4. ^ "Marin Academy: Dartanyan Brown". Internet Archive/Marin 26 February 2015. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Jim Oatts. "Music Affiliate". Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  6. ^ "Chasing My Dream | Welcome". Ted Piercefield. Retrieved 2016-03-13.

Other sources[edit]

  • Szantor, Jim, Downbeat, February 4, 1971, and February 3, 1972
  • "New Acts" column, Variety, March 13, 1974
  • "Obituaries" column, Billboard, August 31, 1974