@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
10 May 2009
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2007 was a milestone year for Chicago, the legendary rock ’n’
roll band with horns. Well known for extraordinary creativity, influential
musicianship and staggering commercial success, Chicago now celebrated
its 40th Anniversary – a show of longevity rarely achieved
in most careers, let alone the music business.
In 1967, Chicago musicians Walter Parazaider, Terry Kath, Danny
Seraphine, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Robert Lamm, and Peter Cetera
formed a group with one dream, to integrate all the musical diversity
from their beloved city and weave a new sound, a rock 'n' roll band
Chicago established a reputation for its powerful live show. Fuelled
by a passion for music, Chicago’s members exploded the conventions
of what rock music could or should be. The result was a groundbreaking
new form, played by extraordinarily talented musicians. Early fans
like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were sufficiently impressed -
they took the group out on their respective tours. Once the group
began making records, fans rewarded the group with record sales
of 100,000,000, 20 Top 10 hits, 5 number one albums, 5 Number One
singles, and 5 Gold singles. To date, Chicago is the only American
band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades – a landmark accomplishment.
Today, decades after band members first gathered at Walter Parazaider’s
apartment, the members of Chicago continue the legacy of music they
inherited from their parents and their teachers and that they have
brought to millions of fans. “My dad, he must be playing now
65 years professionally, something like that, off and on,”
Parazaider notes. “I sat down with him, and he was practicing.
He looked at me, and he held the trumpet in his hand, and he said,
“You know, Walt, one day I’m going to learn this thing.
That’s when I had a moment of clarity, and I realised that
what we’ve been doing all these years is not measured in a
time limit, that it’s a way of life, I learned what I want
to be when I grow up, I’m in pursuit of my life’s work,
and I finally realised it.”
Many people have always wondered about the name “Chicago.”
One simple sentence from the liner notes of the very first album
eliminates any question as to their identity. “If you must
call them something, speak of the city where all save one were born,
where all of them were schooled and bred. Call them Chicago.
Biography edited from Chicago’s official website;