[Dixielandjazz] Bill Chase - big bands/gigs/Woody Herman/Chase (OT?)
Vaxtrpts at aol.com
Vaxtrpts at aol.com
Sun Sep 25 09:58:53 PDT 2005
In a message dated 9/25/2005 8:36:42 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
dixielandjazz-request at ml.islandnet.com writes:
In light of this, it was odd that his tenure with Maynard ended with Maynard
firing him because he refused to get an appropriate mouthpiece. The one he
was using was too large and he was having trouble with endurance. In true
stereotypical trumpet player fashion, Chase stubbornly refused to comply
with Maynard's ultimatum to either get a more appropriate mp or hit the
Apparently he got the right mp at some point after that!
I love Maynard, but one thing he has done over the years that I have never
understood, is want the trumpet players in his sections to play some of the
same equipment that he does.
At times, the whole trumpet section has played his model horn.
A funny (not ha-ha, but interesting) thing is that Bill was also fired from
Stan Kenton's band, for not buttoning his shirt and having his tie on
properly. Seems silly, huh? Stan was a stickler at times for the guys looking
right. Bill's neck expanded quite a bit as he played (not as much as Dizzy, but
quite a bit). It was hard for him to button his shirt and play at the same
With all of this, he did find the "right" band, obviously. His time with
Woody Herman produced some of the finest (in my opinion) big band recordings
ever, and a large part of that was Bill's lead playing and writing. I heard
that band quite a few times and got to hang with Bill. He was always really
nice to me, even though at that time, I was just some college kid who was a
fan. Two of my favorite big band albums of all time are "Woody '63," and
especially "Encore '63" recorded live at the Summit in Los Angeles.
When Bill started "Chase," he did it with Byron Lingenfelter, who was
another lead player in Vegas at the time and they were best friends. Byron quit
trumpet (believe it or not) and became an home building contractor. He lives
is Prescott, AZ where our second home is, and we hang out and play golf quite
a bit. He is dusting off the horn and will start playing again, partly due
to my constant pushing on the subject. He was another GREAT player in his
I did get to hang with Bill some, while "Chase" was going. (He threw VERY
It was while I was on the Kenton Orchestra, and we did cross paths every so
often. To hear the Chase band live was an unbelievable experience! That was
one of the best groups of any kind, that I have ever heard.
They would also "return the favor" and come hear us play. I'm sure it was
much more "nerve wracking" for me to play with him in the audience, than
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