Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Chase, Allan (Stuart)

Chase, Allan (Stuart), saxophonist, composer, educator; b. Willimantic, CT, 22 June 1956. Attended Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona where he received a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition, magna cum laude. Studied composition with Ronald LoPresti, saxophone with Joseph Wytko, jazz with Dan Haerle (1974-78). He then attended Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, New York for summer workshops in jazz and new music composition and improvisation, studying with Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Karl Berger, George Lewis, and others (1978, 79). He studied at the New England Conservatory, Boston, MA (1980-81). From 1988-92, he attended Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, getting an M.A. in Ethnomusicology. His thesis was a 360-page study of the music of jazz composer Sun Ra, including new archival research, oral histories, transcriptions, and musical analysis.

Chase grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. While still a college student, he performed in clubs, concerts, and festivals with local jazz musicians, including Charles Lewis, Prince Shell, Lewis Nash, and Francine Reed.  Chase and jazz drummer Lewis Nash formed a a duo in 1979 and performed frequently in Arizona jazz festivals and concerts during 1979 and '80. Moving to Boston in 1980, Chase completed a year of graduate study in jazz performance and arranging at New England Conservatory.   From 1981 to 1990, he was a member of the faculty at Berklee College of Music where he taught courses in composition, arranging, improvisation, ear training, harmony, counterpoint, jazz ensembles and jazz history.

In 1981, Chase joined the newly formed jazz group Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet (YNSQ).  Playing a unique repertoire of original compositions and arrangements that blend jazz, free improvisation, world musics, and contemporary classical composition, the group has performed throughout New England, New York, and western Europe.  YNSQ has performed in the Moers Festival of New Jazz, the Hannover Jazztage, the T bingen Festival, Philadelphia's Mellon PSFS Jazz Festival, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, the Bang on a Can Festival (New York), and the nationally broadcast NPR series, "New Sounds Live from Merkin Hall." YNSQ has recorded thirteen of Chase's compositions and seven of his arrangements.

During the 1980s, Chase also led small jazz groups and played as a sideman in and around Boston with jazz artists including Mick Goodrick, Donald Brown, Alan Dawson, Teddy Kotick, D. Sharpe, Bob Moses, the Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Either/Orchestra, Julius Hemphill, Muhal Richard Abrams, and JoAnne Brackeen.  He recorded jazz albums with Gunther Schuller, Dominique Eade and Stanley Cowell, the Joe Mulholland Sextet, Latin vibist Victor Mendoza, and Orange Then Blue.

Chase lived in New York City from 1990 to '96, where he performed with artists including John Zorn, Rashied Ali, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Fred Hersch, Harvie Swartz, the Microscopic Septet, and the Walter Thompson Orchestra, while continuing to tour and record with Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet. 

His compositions have been performed by Marimolin, Orange Then Blue, Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, and others.  Thirteen compositions recorded by Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet.  Compositions commissioned by Marimolin, Full Tilt modern dance company, the Southwest Regional Conference of the WorldSaxophone Congress, and others.

In May 1997, Allan Chase became the first jazz musician ever to receive the St. Botolph Club Foundation's annual artist award.

Teaching Experience:
1996-present New England Conservatory, Chair, Department of Jazz Studies and Improvisation, full-time.  Chair of department, supervisor of 35 jazz faculty members.  Directs NEC Jazz Orchestra and small jazz ensembles, teaches jazz saxophone, teaches the courses Jazz Styles, Improvisation and Jazz Styles, Composition, and a course in teaching improvisation for music educators.
1993-1997 Tufts University, Lecturer in Music, three-quarter time position (half- time in '96-97).  Taught jazz theory, arranging, composition, and analysis courses.  Directed jazz big band.  Supervised small jazz ensemble and taught special topics in jazz history.
1994-1996  New England Conservatory, Instructor, part-time. Taught small jazz ensembles, including graduate jazz composers ensemble, and studio jazz saxophone.
1992-95 Guest artist and clinician at Tirano Jazz Master Class, Italy ( 97,  98), Rotterdam Conservatory ( 92,  94); Royal Conservatory, Den Haag ( 92); Wichita Jazz Festival ( 94,  95).
1981-88,  89-90 Berklee College of Music, Assistant Professor, full-time. Taught courses in jazz harmony, jazz arranging, ear training, jazz ensembles, 18th- and 19th-century harmony, counterpoint, canon and invention, jazz composition, jazz improvisation, and listening and analysis.  Developed curricula and materials for harmony and listening and analysis courses.  Supervised testing of entering students.
1990 Tufts University, Experimental College, Visiting Instructor. Taught a jazz history course.
1988-90 Tufts University, Graduate Teaching Assistant. Taught advanced jazz improvisation ensemble.  Assisted in jazz history and blues history courses.

Victor Mendoza: Victor Mendoza (1984); Composers in Red Sneakers: Composers in Red Sneakers (1984); Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet: (1985), The Walkman (1987), What's Gone (1988); Gunther Schuller: Jumpin' in the Future (1988); Darrell Katz with the Jazz Composers' Alliance Orchestra: Dreamland (1989);Joe Mulholland Sextet: Speaking for Myself (1990); Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet: Boogie Stop Shuffle (1990), Plutonian Nights (1991), Wolftone (1994); Dominique Eade: The Ruby and the Pearl (1991);  Orange Then Blue: Funkallero (1991)Marimolin: Natural Highs (1995);  John Zorn: Cobra:  Live at the Knitting Factory (1995); Prima Materia: Bells (1996), Meditations (1996), Peace on Earth (music of John Coltrane) (1995);Allan Chase Quartet: Dark Clouds with Silver Linings (1995); Phillip Johnston: Normalology (1997);  pop, rock and dance music recordings with Michael Callen, Men and Volts, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, the AlphaBettys (with D. Sharpe), and others (1981-present.)

Recorded Compositions:
Wupatki  (1981); Indelible  (1982); Scotch Tape  (1982); Song for What's Gone  (1982); Corn Census  (1983); The Seychelles  (1984); Powers of 2  (1985); See-Through  (1986); Wolf Tone  (1989); Discovery  (1991); Southern Flowers  (1992); Simple Song in Six or Seven Flats  (1993); Saturn's Rings  (1993); (All of the above were composed for Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet)

The Music of Chance, a feature film directed by Phillip Haas,  played all alto saxophone solos (improvised and composed) (1993);  Faithful, a feature film directed by Paul Mazursky: played all alto and soprano saxophone solos (improvised and composed) (1995); Money Man, a BBC/PBS documentary directed by Phillip Haas, played all alto saxophone solos (improvised and composed) (1992);Things to Do in Denver When You re Dead, feature film,  Alto saxophone and flute in big band (1995); Saxophone soloist and arranger: music for local public television documentaries, national and local television advertisements, and industrial films (1979-90)

Commissioned compositions:
Opening  for alto saxophone and piano.  Southwestern Regional Conference, World Saxophone Congress (1979).
Orb for alto saxophone and percussion. Full Tilt Modern Dance Company, Tempe, Arizona (1979).
Pranams for marimba, violin, and 12-piece jazz band.  Marimolin and Orange Then Blue, Boston (1987).

Other compositions:
Theme from "The Clamdiggers" (1982); We're Only Human  for jazz quartet (1982); Aneth Utah  for jazz quartet (1982); Theme from "The Clamdiggers"  for jazz quartet (1982); Magnet  for jazz quartet (1984); Drowning . . .  for saxophone quartet (1984); La Frontera  for saxophone quartet (1986); Theme from "The Clamdiggers"  for jazz big band (1987); Saturn's Rings/Egypt  for large ensemble (1993)

Jazz arrangements:
Dewey Square  (Charlie Parker) for big band (1981); Blue in Green  (Bill Evans/Miles Davis) for big band (1981); Fate in a Pleasant Mood  (Sun Ra) for saxophone quartet (1989); A Bird's Eye View of Man's World  (Sun Ra) for saxophone quartet (1991); Tiny Pyramids  (Sun Ra) for saxophone quartet (1991); I Got it Bad  (Duke Ellington) for saxophone quartet (1991); Media Dreams  (Sun Ra) for saxophone quartet (1991); They'll Come Back  (Sun Ra) for saxophone quartet (1991); Crian as (Cuida De La)  (Hermeto Pascoal) for saxophone quartet (1992); The Bad and the Beautiful  (David Raksin) for big band (1993); Hora Decubitus (Charles Mingus) for big band (1995)

Contact information:
40 Freeman Street
Newton, MA  02466 USA
phone: (617)964-0823
fax: (617)244-8642
e-mail: AllanCh@aol.com

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