Chicago, “Sixth Sense” from Chicago VIII (2002 reissue): Saturdays in the Park

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When Rhino re-released Chicago’s back catalog with bonus tracks, some were a bit uneven. At times, it even felt like subtraction by addition: They took away from the feel of the album as opposed to adding to it.

The three bonus tracks added to 1975’s Chicago VIII, starting with “Sixth Sense,” make it one of the exceptions to that rule. All three are jazz instrumentals that would not have sounded out of place on the jazz portion of the earlier Chicago VII, and all are substantially stronger than what one might consider to be the three weakest tracks on either Chicago VII or VIII.

“Sixth Sense” is a great kick-off to the extra songs. There’s a feel of the band playing as a cohesive whole in a way some would argue they had not sounded since 1972’s Chicago V or possibly even as far back as Chicago II. Percussionist Laudir de Olivera adds a subtle Latin-flavored tinge to the rhythm section, giving extra depth and dimension to Danny Seraphine’s drumming. The horns act as vocalists, playing so tightly together that they sound as one.

Terry Kath and Robert Lamm also display a tight chemistry, with Terry’s guitar and Robert’s organ work playing brilliantly off each other. Terry does have a brief solo that adds a bit of rock to what would otherwise be a straight-ahead jazz piece. His rhythm guitar work is beautiful in its subtlety and fits like a glove with Peter Cetera’s bass playing, as well as Danny and Laudir’s percussion.

Speaking of solos, Lee Loughnane delivers what is arguably his best turn on the trumpet since “Introduction” on Chicago’s debut. As much as I love and have always loved Chicago’s tight horn section, in hindsight it’s been Lee Loughnane’s trumpet playing that has particularly stuck out for me – both on the aforementioned “Introduction” and also on “Sixth Sense,” among others.

The only complaint I have on “Sixth Sense” is that fans didn’t get to hear it until 2002! It’s a song that should have made the cut at the time of Chicago VIII‘s original release.

‘Saturdays in the Park’ is a multi-writer, song-by-song examination of the music of Chicago. Find it here at Something Else! each weekend.

Perplexio

Perplexio

Perplexio also maintains a stand-alone blog called The Review Revue, where he explores music, movies and books. He spearheaded 'Saturdays in the Park,' our weekly multi-writer, song-by-song series focused on the music of Chicago. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Perplexio
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