Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chicago Presents The Innovative Guitar of Terry Kath
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Nice, But Not a Definitive Collection of Terry's Guitar Work
Rik22 | New York | 04/19/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The founding members of Chicago and whoever else had a hand in putting this package of tracks together appear to have had the best of intentions: to pay tribute to one of the most innovative guitarists in rock history. Terry Kath, was a unique stylist on guitar who broke onto the scene in 1969 as part of Chicago Transit Authority, a seven piece giant of a band with a powerful horn section, the likes of which had never been heard on record before. His work on the first Chicago album (Chicago Transit Authority) goes down in history as truly ground-breaking, as his soloing dominates most of the tracks. Unfortnuately, after this album, his work seemed to get swallowed up by the sheer size of the band and their diverse ideas for musical composition. Accordingly, Terry Kath never seemed to get the recognition in the mainstream rock world as a true stylist, particularly for his unparalleled rythym guitar parts.
What is attempted on this offering is a neat package to highlight Terry's work during the eight years Chicago recorded with Kath at the guitar helm.
Unfortunately, a much more focused selection of his musical legacy could have been presented. The tracks here are all great songs, but the choices are an odd mix.
The most obvious ommission on this CD is the original studio recording of "25 or 6 to 4". Terry's solo on this track, which is clearly Chicago's definitive rock radio hit, still stands amongst the greatest guitar solos ever heard on the airwaves.
Choosing the interesting, yet lackluster version of this song from the "Live in Japan" album is downright ridiculous.
Another obvious ommission, as noted from other reviewers below, is "Oh Thank You Great Spirit" from the Chicago VIII album. This is definitive Kath in a multi-track format that just sizzles. And it's a spiritual tribute to his friend Jimi Hendrix, no less.
"Takin'It On Uptown" is another glaring missing entry.
"Byblos" which evidenced Terry's acoustic guitar stylings better than any other track on the 11 albums he recorded with Chicago, again has been left off.
"Missippi Delta City Blues" which, on Chicago 11, defines Terry's urban funk rythym style with two-track counterpoint is shunned for, again, an interesting yet lackluster version from the Japan live album.
"Darlin' Dear" has no business on this CD, nor does "Lowdown" when true cutting edge instrumentals such as "Aire" and "Italian from New York" (from Chicago VII) are left out. Terry's work on these tunes is downright electrifying.
One could go on and on about what material would make up a definitive Terry Kath tribute. The difficulty with really defining his talent in a single collection is that much of his innovative guitar parts were rythym guitar tracks, sometimes submerged in Chicago's mix below soaring vocals, powerful horns and Danny Seraphine's amazing drum work.
A focused listen to "Just You n' Me", one of Chicago's biggest pop hits and still a radio staple, discovers Terry's guitar adding unique texture below all the glossy layers of the band. He does things with a Wah-Wah pedal that no one else would think of on a song of this nature. That's Terry Kath's guitar legacy: He did things with his guitar that no one else ever conceived of doing."
WHAT ! NO BYBLOS ???
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What is it with record companies. What planet are they on? I can't believe that such a worthy tribute album could have been so badly put together. Terry Kath was a truly great guitarist and songwriter. Why then do we have a collection of tracks of which a mere handful are Kath compositions and hardly any really define his intensity, lyrical perspective or guitar playing. Where are "Oh, Thank You Great Spirit" "Song Of The Evergreens" or "Takin'It On Uptown" to name but a few. And "Byblos" ??? where is "Byblos" !!! Surely one of the best songs ever written. This is a great album if you want a Chicago collection, but if it's the real Terry Kath you want, best to get a CD-R and make your own !"
A Fitting Tribute to an Underrated Guitar Great.
Louie Bourland | Garden Grove CA | 08/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Terry Kath was the guitarist, vocalist and founding member of the legendary rock band Chicago. Although he never gained recognition as large as Clapton, Hendrix or Page, Terry Kath's guitar playing is nonetheless top notch stuff. He truly was and is one of rock music's greatest and sadly underrated guitarists. Sadly, Terry Kath's life was cut short in 1978 when he accidently shot himself while under the influence of substances. The world lost a truly underrated legend.
On "The Innovative Guitar of Terry Kath", we are treated to a sampling of some of Kath's best guitar work with Chicago. Although there are a few glaring ommisions (particularly "Poem 58" from the first Chicago album and "It Better End Soon" from 'Chicago II'), Terry's soaring guitar work and Ray Charles-like vocals shine with perfection on every track. This album could have very easily been a double-CD because for the first eleven Chicago albums, Terry was the star of the show alongside Peter Cetera and the band's three-piece horn section.
This CD does a fine job of sampling Kath's innovative guitar playing. However, if you want to dive further into what Kath did, check out the first Chicago album (Chicago Transit Authority) as well as "Live at Carnegie Hall", "Chicago II", "Chicago III", "Chicago V", "Chicago VII" and "Chicago VIII". All feature stunning guitar work from Terry Kath. 25 years after his tragic death, Terry Kath's music still lives on."