New Chicago Music!
by on June 3, 2013 in Miscellaneous

Hey friends… sometimes the wait is so worth it!

From the day I joined Chicago we were making records smack in the middle of one of the biggest hitmaking machines on the planet…

David Foster producing, Humberto Gatica engineering and mixing, Chicago (who was dominating the pop radio charts), Warner Bros. Records, top level management, agency… you name it.

The positives of that, well, do I need to even ask?

But what are the negatives? You know, at the time, anybody would be a fool to look for negatives, it was rolling in the lane of what the dream is… big hit records, MTV/VH1, hearing yourself WAY TOO MUCH on the radio! (a great problem to have), but as a new guy… you know what I felt? I felt the frustration of all the creatives in the band.

It had gotten to the point where they had painted themselves into a corner, (a great corner nonetheless, but a corner), but when I joined the band David Foster announced that the tenor was going to be singing all the singles…

You know, as a 24 year old kid, even back then, I felt for the other great singers in the band… Robert Lamm and Bill Champlin and I must say, both of these gentlemen conducted themselves as not only classy but really taking me under their wings.

But I could only imagine… if you’re that great, (which they are), that had to be strange… who is this kid?

We were going with the flow… but again, I felt it… nobody ever said anything but there’s no way it couldn’t be a bit frustrating…

So there we went, continuing on with their success they had created and I got to ride in the wake of it…

There was, and still is, always a part of me that wanted to see what we could do as a completely open ended creative band… but it just wasn’t time yet… we were doing whatever the machine was advising… again, not complaining, it was great.

Again though… there was always a part of me that longed for what they had in the beginning… a creative environment where everybody’s ideas, everybody’s voices, everybody’s talents could come to the table…

And you know what? It’s not like it was avoided or squelched back in the day, we just didn’t have TIME to experiment…

When you’re touring as much as we did, and do, you have a small window to record…

But now? WOW! It’s wide open. I’m so grateful guys like Robert Lamm and Lee Loughnane have championed the cause to record… yes, we’ve all been recording and writing over the years but to call it Chicago? It’s taken somebody to really take the bull by the horns and that’s Lee. I have to give him massive props here!

He and I speak all the time about what it takes… Lee’s like me in that he wants to learn, he’ll spend COUNTLESS hours in the computer, in the owners manuals learning, trying to figure it out…

And I’ve told him, “There aren’t many that are willing like you… yes, I’m one of them, but there aren’t many. I commend you for that!”

It’s the only way anything will get done… because you see, at this point? It takes nuts that will do the insane to be able to lead the charge… waiting for the gatekeepers to give you *permission* to record… and let’s just break it down… giving you permission to record/write/create… think about how insane that is…

If we are artists and we don’t create, why? There had better be a great reason why…

I’ve heard a great phrase and Wally De Los Reyes has been reminding me of it lately… “Most arists will die with their art inside them”. Wow…

Not me, not us… we’re back recording and I’m so excited for folks to hear what we’re up to…

As many of you know, I was working on a solo album for the last few years… and pulled the brakes on it… I have a few tunes I wrote that feel right for the Chicago project and I’ve contributed them… hopefully they make the cut!

All in all, I knew this year was and is going to be a great one… and it’s not even halfway done… almost but not quite!

See you in the studio!!!! Jason

(Addendum… a few of those songs I submitted were included in the Chicago album we released after I originally wrote this post… “Now” and “Love Lives On” for the 2014 release “Now – Chicago 36”) 

 

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