Exclusive stream: Danny Seraphine’s California Transit Authority, “Sacred Ground” (2013)

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Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at the title track from California Transit Authority’s long-awaited sophomore release, led by Chicago co-founder Danny Seraphine and featuring Marc Bonilla and Tower of Power vocalist Larry Braggs, among others.

It’s clear from the start that this is no trip down memory lane.

In fact, “Sacred Ground” (which features a guest vocal from Will Champlin, son of Seraphine’s fellow Chicago alum Bill Champlin) is the perfect example of this new effort’s canny mixture of textures, both old and new: You have the muscular horn charts of Seraphine’s former band, but coupled now with a brisk, funky groove — not to mention a fizzy new injection of youthful exuberance courtesy of Champlin.

What better opening song for an album that recalls the soaring jazz-rock triumphs of Chicago’s initial series of albums, even while bringing that sound into the new millennium?

Guitarist Bonilla, the band’s ace in the hole, did the bulk of the horn charts for Sacred Ground, and also wrote both the lyrics and music for this song. Elsewhere, the album features contributions from the elder Champlin, long-time Seraphine collaborator Peter Fish, vocalist Wes Quave and keyboardist Ed Roth, among others.

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