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Bill Chase, whose full name was William Edward Chiaiese, was born on October 20, 1934. He became a very noted American trumpet player and led the band Chase; a jazz-rock fusion band.

His interest in music stemmed from his dad, who played the trumpet in the Gillette Marching Band. After high school, Bill Chase attended the New England Conservatory to study music but he quickly changed his mind and instead studied at the Berklee School of Music.

His musical career included playing with Maynard Ferguson in 1958 as well as Stan Kenton in 1959. The 1960’s brought the opportunity to play the lead trumpet in Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd along with many television appearances. The Chase band released their album entitled Chase in April 1971 which earned them a Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist. They released a second album entitled Ennea in March 1972 and it was not as well received as their self titled album which sold 400,000 copies. Their third album in 1974, called Pure Music, was closer to Jazz and it was better received.

Unfortunately, at the early age of 39, Bill Chase died in a plane crash while working on his fourth album. To this day he is regarded as an amazing trumpet player who changed the way we traditionally view fusion music.

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