[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 
wild parties!) 
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  
Great memories.
Mike Vax

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