Upon Chuck Mangione's signing with A&M, his music underwent a softening process; everything would become subordinate to the pretty tunes that seemed to pour out of the horn player with honeyed ease. However, the tunes on Chase the Clouds Away aren't as catchy as his earlier ones, and Mangione is starting to run those Spanish chordal patterns into the ground. Mangione's flügelhorn work begins to show some signs of wear here, and he now doubles on gently phase-shifted Rhodes electric piano, often reserving it for the intros. Wind player Gerry Niewood, bassist Chip Jackson, and drummer Joe La Barbera have been asked to tone down their attacks and interplay; the orchestrations are subdued and recessed, no longer as bold-sounding as in early-'70s Mangione. While Mangione scores points as a precursor of the "smooth jazz" trends of the future, that's a dubious honor in this context.