Pieces of Peace is the self-titled sole release of the group that arose, as the promo sheet puts it, from the "primordial stew of 1960s Chicago" to become the band behind the Windy City soul sound. The album is a seriously solid project of what we’ve come to define and know as real soul music with body and substance, surviving the decades that have since threatened to obscure it.
Started in different forms and naming conventions in the early 60s, beginning with bassist Bernard Reed’s vocal group The Constellations, the group went on to establish collaborations of stellar proportions (Jackie Wilson, Eugene Record, Gene Chandler, Major Lance, etc.). While they were arguably the most important group in Chicago in their prime, they almost managed to disappear without a trace. With this album’s release, the group begins to get their just recognition, not just as able session musicians, but also as a unique and creative band with progression as their focus.... a group that synthesized all aspects of Black music in Chicago and forged their own spiritual funk sound.
The selections here are all full of the energy and funk that served as the backbone of an era so ripe with backbone music. These gentlemen proved very capable of holding their own in such a crowded field and even managed to stand out quite prominently, as this album plainly demonstrates. For example, the strong, innovative, synchronized, and harmonious use of horns caught my attention immediately. Even then, the level of intensity was well beyond the norm and "trendsetters" comes to mind when you listen to several of the selections. Track three with its strong rock/blues undertones and trademark Chicago horns, the muscular R&B vocals of "I Still Care," track 4, and the energetic "Pollution" tracks two and seven are hefty examples of this superior musicianship. In this reviewer’s eye, the group has clearly justified its worth twicefold on this release.