JAZZ is PHSH’s Adam Chase Explains His Top Ten Most Impactful Albums

first_imgIn advance of JAZZ IS PHSH’s album pre-release party and Thanksgiving celebration at The Cutting Room in Manhattan, NY on Saturday, November 26, 2016, JAZZ IS PHSH drummer Adam Chase shared some insight on the records that had the biggest impact on him as he considers what kind of impact he hopes the JAZZ IS PHSH record will have on its listeners.“As we are putting the finishing touches on the debut album for JAZZ IS PHSH, He Never Spoke A Word, (appropriately named, considering it’s an all instrumental record), I have been thinking about the albums that had the biggest influence on me as a musician,” he explains. “This is not a list of albums that I would claim are necessarily the best albums of all time or anything like that. These albums are simply the records that had the biggest impact on me growing up as a musician.  The main qualifier for the list for me had to do with how obsessed I was with the record. If I listened to the album enough times that I could scat out and sing every part, every instrument on the album, it made the first cut. (Kind of like how I can recite every word from The Big Lebowski).”So here it is:10 ANIMALS – PINK FLOYDWhen it comes to Pink Floyd, most would suggest Dark Side Of The Moon is the bands best album, and deservedly so.  I would not suggest otherwise.  However, for me, Animals was the record that got me to get stuck in a loop.  The way the album flows seamlessly from one song to the next, telling an important story of political corruption with masterful ease was enough for me to listen to it on repeat.  9 DELOUSED AT THE COMATORIUM  – THE MARS VOLTAThis record came out while I was in high school.  It was a tale of a man that overdoses on drugs and goes into a comma for a week; which unfortunately hit close to home for me. As a drummer and lover of concept albums, this record had it all.  John Theodores’ drumming and Fleas’ bass playing stood out to me and of course Cedrics’ vocals are unreal.  I was obsessed with the record. Anything Rick Rubin touches is worth a listen.8 THRILLER – MICHAEL JACKSONThriller came out when I was 5 months old.  The songs were played everywhere that year.  Some of my first memories are of songs from this record.  It didn’t hurt that it stayed popular throughout the 80’s and still today.  Like most people that survived the 80’s, I know every word to every song and thanks to Weird Al, “Beat It” and “Eat It” can blend seamlessly when my brain decides to turn on the radio.  Quincy Jones was on fire (always is) as a producer and arranger and with Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and Steven Ray (on the bathroom stomp board – whatever that is?) and a ton of other great musicians and engineers, this record deserves it’s place as the highest selling record of all time.7 MIDNIGHT VULTURES – BECKBeck has so many great records, can’t say if this is my favorite or not.  It certainly got a lot of mixed reviews, from being considered one of the worst albums of all times to being considered one of the best albums of all time.  This is, however, the record that had the biggest impact on my sense of performance and arrangement.  I have performed this record with The Chase Brothers years ago and for good reason.  With odes to Grand Master Flash, David Bowie, Prince, and The Velvet Underground, the album earned its place in my musical rotation for over a decade.6 KIND OF BLUE – MILES DAVISMiles Davis, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley.  Together these guys made magic with this record.  My obsession with the record happened immediately after the first time I heard it.  Every note is perfectly placed, every scene is perfectly painted…it is a true masterpiece.  One of the things that always stood out to me the most was Bill Evans use of space in his piano playing.  5 MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR – THE BEATLESThe Beatles are tough for me to choose favorites with when it comes to making sense of their records.  Some people would choose the White Album, some Abbey Road. Both were obsessions for me, however, Magical Mystery Tour definitely had me tuned in the longest, if for nothing more, “I am the Walrus” is a life changing experience when you hear it for the first time (and the hundreds of times that quickly follow).4 CALIFORNIA – MR BUNGLECalifornia came out with high school.  To me the genius of the album cannot be over stated.  It’s Mike Patton and Co. at their best.  With that said, I lost a lot of friends that thought I was weird after forcing them to listen to the record with me. Seriously though, the record has so many styles and compositional elements that are executed to perfection.  It changed the way I looked at how writing music could be approached.3 A GO-GO – SCOFIELD, MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOODThe first collaboration between John Scofield and Medeski, Martin and Wood was my personal favorite.  Though I have enjoyed them all.  For the first record you would think they had been collaborating for years.  The album flows so well and is so tasty from top to bottom, I don’t think there is a moment in the day that I wouldn’t want to hear those songs.  I was 16 years old when the album was released and may have been one of the first records that I took the time to properly transcribe for drums.  2 ROXY AND ELSEWHERE – FRANK ZAPPAI don’t think I have met a musician that I haven’t discussed this record with.  “Echidna’s Arf” and “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing” alone are enough to blow the mind of a listening ear.  The masterful compositions, performed exquisitely by the likes of George Duke, Don Preston, Bruce Fowler, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Chester Thompson, Ruth Underwood…(I should name every player on the record, but I will stop there for now).  If you haven’t listened, stop what you are doing and put it on.  Take note of George Dukes’ Rhodes solo and Bruce Fowler’s Trombone Solo in “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing.”1 RIFT – PHISH My freshman year of high school I took theater arts as an elective (or whatever its called).  One of my assignments was to memorize song lyrics or a poem and perform it as a monologue.  My monologue was the lyrics to the title track of my favorite Phish album, and the most influential album on my development as a musician “Rift”.  The concept record conveys the experience of a man dreaming of the rift forming between himself and his girlfriend.  The imagery is rich and dark and accompanied by some of the most impressive musical compositions ever written.  What sets “Rift” a part for me from other album like “Roxy and Elsewhere,” is the depth that exists when you start to dissect the music and it’s compositions.  With a masterful fugue in “All Things Reconsidered” to brainy and playful exploration in “Mound,” this record hits on all levels.  While some of the inspirational moments in musicianship on the other records inspired me, the rubrics cube of composition on this record had me working hard to figure out the polyrhythms and compositional patterns.  A great example is the break down that happens in “It’s Ice” before the piano solo.  While many of the records come close and some of them even have better elements of musicianship and musicians with better overall chops.  The full package of this record has had it sitting as my number one for a long time.  JAZZ is PHSH Tour Dates:11/26 — The Cutting Room — New York, NY12/11 — Shaka’s Live — VA Beach, VA12/12 — The Blind Tiger — Greensboro, NC12/13 — The Pour House — Charleston, SC12/14 — Smith’s Olde Bar — Atlanta, GA12/15 — Southland Ballroom — Raleigh, NC12/16 — Harvester Performance Center — Rocky Mount, NC12/17 — Salvage Station — Asheville, NC12/18 — The Broadberry — Richmond, VA[Cover photo by Ron Adelberg]last_img