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Allan Chase

Allan Chase is a jazz saxophonist, composer, educator, and researcher. Since 2008, he has chaired the Ear Training department at Berklee College of Music in Boston and teaches courses in improvisation and jazz history as part of Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute. He taught at New England Conservatory from 1994 to 2012, chaired NEC’s Jazz Studies and Improvisation department (1996-2001) and Contemporary Improvisation department (2005-8), and served as NEC’s Dean of Faculty from 2000 to 2006.

Allan Chase has appeared as a saxophone soloist on over forty recordings, eight of which feature his own compositions, and performs in New England, New York City, and Europe. The Allan Chase Quartet's Dark Clouds With Silver Linings, his first recording as a leader, was released in October 1995 and was selected as one of the top ten CDs of the year by Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe and critics for JazzIz and other publications. His second CD, Phoenix, features drummer Lewis Nash in a tribute to their hometown. It was recorded in 1996 and released in 2000.

Allan Chase was born on June 22, 1956 in Willimantic, Connecticut, and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona from the age of four. He received his bachelor's degree in music theory and composition from Arizona State University in 1978, where he studied composition with Ronald LoPresti. 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.

In the summers of 1978 and '79, Chase studied improvisation and composition with Roscoe Mitchell, Karl Berger, George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, Jerome Cooper, Frederic Rzewski, and others at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. 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, arranging, and music theory at New England Conservatory, where he studied saxophone with Joe Allard. 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 and assisted in the administration of the Harmony department.

In 1981, Chase joined the newly formed jazz group Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet (YNSQ). Playing a unique repertoire of original compositions and arrangements that blended jazz, free improvisation, world musics, and contemporary classical composition, the group performed throughout New England, New York, and western Europe through 1995. YNSQ issued a self-produced LP in 1985 and made five CDs for the Amsterdam- based Coppens label, including a highly acclaimed collection of original arrangements of compositions by Sun Ra, Plutonian Nights (1991), which was selected as one of the top ten CDs of the year by Francis Davis for the Village Voice. YNSQ performed in the Moers Festival of New Jazz, the Hannover Jazztage, the Tübingen 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 recorded thirteen of Chase's compositions and seven of his arrangements. Former YNSQ members Chase, Tom Hall, and Joel Springer continued to perform as a free improvisation trio in Boston through 2001, and have occasionally reunited for performances as a quartet with founding member Cercie Miller since 2006.

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Album Review

Bruno Raberg Tentet: Evolver

Read "Evolver" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Bassist Bruno Raberg released a nonet recording, Chrysalis (Orbis Music), in 2002--review here. That was his only foray into recording with a large-ish ensemble. Since Chrysalis he has primarily recorded in small ensembles. Evolver brings him back to the “almost a big band" format in more than twenty years. The disc features a first-rate tentet, with a pair of guest artist contributions which expand the voicings. As the opener “Peripeteia" spins, the first impression is Gil Evans, or ...

Album Review

Aardvark Jazz Orchestra: Faces Of Souls

Read "Faces Of Souls" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Si avvicina al cinquantesimo anno di attività l'Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, fondata nel 1973 da Mark Harvey e ancora diretta dall'inossidabile trombettista, compositore e bandleader di Boston. In questo nuovo disco--il decimo pubblicato con la Leo Records e registrato live in varie occasioni--ritroviamo il consueto eclettismo della formazione, capace di passare da quadri in libera improvvisazione a concitazioni rock anche in uno stesso brano. Per la verità stavolta i contrasti sono più smussati e tendono a prevalere compostezza ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Orbis Music


The Prospector

Orbis Music


Faces Of Souls

Leo Records


Given - Live In...

Hat Hut Records


Dark Clouds

Ash Records


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