My Blog: Horn Band Reviews

If you haven't seen it yet, please feel free to check out my blog linked below, mostly on Chicago topics. It's a work in progress, and I'll be adding new essays. I tried to focus on some things that I haven't read anywhere else, such as reviews of quad mixes that I really love and are substantially different from the stereo mixes. I'l probably review II in quad next, but I also thought that Ballet needed its own essay, especially considering the Song Hall nomination!  

I'm no expert but it is an opportunity to listen and think deeply, and be respectful, in a way that I don't always read on the internet.  

Horn Band Reviews Blog

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  • Hi Stephanie, your essay on Chicago's (Pankow's) Ballet was superb!  It's refreshing to see a detailed musical analysis of a piece I've loved for so many years.  While I like every last part of the Suite and it's hard to pick out one favorite, I'd have to say it's the B part of Make Me Smile.  I wish Pankow had given that part a special name, because to me it differs from what immediately precedes and follows.  I love the way he transitions from the Absus-Ab part by, instead of going back to Cm like it did earlier, it goes to Bma7 -- a perfect pivot into the Em7 to A7 section.  That 2-chord pattern I call "Treat chords" (named after the Santana song, "Treat", which uses it for an entire song) I find deeply satisfying, and Pankow in this one section has executed it best with that brass line, brought to a great climax by Kath's guitar solo.

    • Thanks Erich! Yep, those modulations were brilliant, and Jimmy was so young when he wrote it! It is impossible to pick a favorite movement or moment, but during West Virginia Fantasies I always pay special attention. ;)   

  • Great job on the Ballet and VII reviews Stephanie ! - but don't forget they had a drummer that made both, especially VII, REALLY special.

    I really wish the "Quads" were released individually as well as the box set. I think I have as many versions of CTA as I do Aja.

    Again great job - must be the teacher in you
    • Not sure Mr Pankow has the back catalogue in terms of song writing? On that video clip shows how much TK vocals are missed he's even shouting .

      It Better End Soon sounds rather dated these days but shows how political the early days were a pity they didn't continue in that vein and move over to power ballads.

    • Thanks Pete! Yes, their ex-bandmate was a great drummer back in the day. I've just chosen not to focus on him in the present. :

    • I read somewhere that Robert Lamm wished Chicago were making music like AJA in 1977 - The Dan were way ahead.

  • Yes, I know that song Andy, but it's way too slacker for me. It is flannel shirt weather though. ;) 

  • Hey I'm the same way with being a generation x too and with that being said that I have adopted a lot of baby boomer music as well like Robert Lamm'a solo, Chicago, The Beatles, The Mamas and Papas, Steve Miller Band hey I could go on forever!!
  • Generation X ? Oh stop it! Do you know the songs 'Stephanie Knows Who? Worth looking that up.

  • Hi Stephanie, excellent stuff especially old fans like moi. The first two records are very special - looking back the innovative sound and songs started fade around Chicago 8. Great reading thank you - Terry Kath singing Colour My World doesn't get any better. Best Wishes

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