|Born||in San Diego, California, USA|
|Birth Name||Jason Randolph Scheff|
|Height||5' 10½" (1.79 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Vocalist and bassist Jason Scheff was born April 16, 1962 in San Diego, California. His parents divorced when he was young. His dad, Jerry Scheff, made a living playing bass and toured with Elvis Presley (he's also featured on the famous The Doors album "L.A. Woman"). Friends from Jason's early years include big-league pitcher David Wells. As a youth, Scheff tried singing but became frustrated, deciding to concentrate on his bass playing. "Playing the bass was very natural for me, so I knew that it was a gift that my father had given me genetically", he has said (Scheff has two brothers in the music business - Lauren Scheff and Darin Scheff.
As a teen, Scheff played in local Top 40 bands (one featured his mom!); his first break came when he was 19 and producer Peter Wolf hired him for his band (they opened for The Rolling Stones in Vienna in 1982). Relocating to L.A., Scheff began writing songs and doing recording sessions. His talent soon earned him attention. Returning to vocals, he was making inroads as a solo act when singer Peter Cetera left the rock group Chicago in July of 1985. After considering Richard Page of Mr. Mister for the gig (he turned it down), Chicago stumbled across Scheff almost accidentally. It was for his voice that he was being considered. But when Howard Kaufman, Chicago's manager, found out Scheff played the bass, the deal was sealed.
Being asked to join Chicago was "the last thing that I would have imagined". Chicago was about to go into the studio with producer David Foster to record "Chicago 18", their third set with Foster and the follow-up to their monstrous 17th album. "Chicago 17" had sold millions on the strength of Cetera's voice and songwriting, so Scheff felt some tension about his place in things. To their credit, the rest of the band - especially Bill Champlin - made Scheff feel at home. The sessions went well for the new "New Guy", though the Chicago vets had tired of Foster's very hands-on approach.
"Chicago 18" turned out to be a financial success. Scheff breathed more easily when the single "Will You Still Love Me?" (on which he sang lead) did well on the charts. According to Scheff, this was when he felt that he finally belonged. The album was released in September of 1986, and the band took to the road for a fall tour. Replacing a focal point like Cetera is never easy, however, and Scheff has had his share of detractors. Realistically, Scheff can't match Cetera's vocals on Cetera's songs, and asking him to do so (and it's obvious he has been asked) isn't fair. Scheff is far better singing his own material. As a bass player and a composer, Scheff is excellent (Robert Lamm has said that Scheff is a better musician than Cetera). The blondish Jason has also served as eye-candy for the female crowd, a role he seems to take in stride (he is also a famously nice guy). As Chicago record sales decreased, Scheff's contributions got better ("What Kind of Man Would I Be?", "If It Were You"), and when the band recorded the notorious, unreleased "Stone of Sisyphus" album in 1993, Scheff contributed a lot of the best material ("Mahh Jong", "The Pull"). He also released a solo CD ("Chauncey") in 1997.
Now in his early forties and married, Scheff (along with Lamm) is reportedly the driving force behind the soon-to-come "Chicago 30", a brand new album of 12 original songs tentatively set for release in the spring of 2006. Produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts (a good friend of Scheff's), Lamm has described the recording as a "Jason/Bill [Champlin] project", so fans of Scheff can take heart.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: billfleck
|Tracy Scheff||(October 1995 - present)|