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Thomas Chapin (March 9, 1957 – February 13, 1998) was an American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist. Though primarily an alto saxophonist, he also played sopranino, as well as soprano, tenor, baritone saxes and flute. Many of his recordings as a leader were in a trio with bassist Mario Pavone and drummer Michael Sarin. Chapin studied with Jackie McLean , Paul Jeffrey , and Lionel Hampton. He died of leukemia three weeks before his 41st birthday. He played at a benefit concert two weeks before his death.
Chapin was born on March 9, 1957 in Manchester, Connecticut. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts where he studied classical music and jazz. In the late 1970s he attended the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, studying with saxophonist Jackie McLean. In 1980 he graduated from Rutgers University where he studied with saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, pianist Kenny Barron and guitarist Ted Dunbar. From 1981 to 1986 he toured with Lionel Hampton as lead saxophonist and musical director. He performed with Chico Hamilton's band from 1988 to 1989.
In the late 1980s he formed quartets, quintets, and a band and album devoted to Brazilian music, Spirits Rebellious (Alacra). He founded Machine Gun with guitarist Robert Musso and a trio with bassist Mario Pavone and drummers Steve Johns and later Michael Sarin. In 1994 the trio performed at Madarao Jazz Festival in Japan, where he also played with Betty Carter, and at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1995. He formed larger groups (Trio with Brass, Insomnia, Haywire, and Trio with Strings) and performed with Ray Drummond, Anthony Braxton, Tom Harrell, Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, Walter Thompson, Dave Douglas, Marty Ehrlich, and Ned Rothenberg. He recorded over fifteen albums as a leader.
Chapin died of leukemia in 1998 at the age of forty.
|George Alford, Peter McEachern, Phil Buettner, Nick Makros, Lucian Williams, Mario Pavone, Emmett Spencer, Matt Emerzian||Bell of the Heart||Alacra 1005||recorded and released 1981||LP|
|Ronnie Mathews, Ray Drummond, John Betsch et al.||Radius||MuWorks 1005; US||recorded 1984, released 1990||CD, LP, CS|
|Machine Gun (Robert Musso/Thomas Chapin/John Lunar RIchey/Jair–Rohm Parker Wells/Bil Bryant) + Sonny Sharrock/Karl Berger||Live at CBGB's Vol. 1 : June 2, 1987||MuWorks 37 CR; US||released 2008||CD|
|Francesca Vanasco, Saul Rubin, Thad Wheeler, Geoffrey Gordon||Spirits Rebellious||Alacra 1017; US||recorded and released 1988||LP|
|Motation (Mario Pavone, Michael Musillami, Thomas Chapin, Peter McEachern, George Sovak, Mike Duquette)||Live at the Hillside||Alacra 1014; US||recorded 1988, released 1989||LP|
|Machine Gun + Sonny Sharrock||Machine Gun||Muworks 1001; US||recorded and released 1988||CD, LP, CS|
|Machine Gun + Sonny Sharrock||Live at the Gas Station: December 3, 1988||MuWorks 46 CR; US||released 2008||CD|
|Machine Gun + Sonny Sharrock||Open Fire||MuWorks 1003; US||recorded and released 1989||CD, LP, CS|
|Machine Gun||Live from the Court Tavern: February 24, 1990 + December 8, 1990||MuWorks DR 03; US||released 2008||DVD|
|Thomas Chapin Trio with Mario Pavone, Steve Johns||Third Force||KnitWorks 103; US||recorded 1900–1991, released 1991||CD|
|Machine Gun||Live From the Webo Art Space: September 22, 199||MuWorks DR 01; US)||released 2008||DVD|
|Thomas Chapin Trio with Mario Pavone/Steve Johns||Anima||KnitWorks 121 B; US||recorded 1991, released 1992||CD, CS|
|Thomas Chapin & Borah Bergman||Inversions||MuWorks 1009; US||recorded and released 1992||CD, CS|
|Machine Gun||Pass the Ammo||MuWorks 1011; US||recorded and released 1992||CD, LP, CS|
|William Hooker||Crossing Points||NoBusiness LP 30/31; Lithuania||recorded 1992, released 2011||2–LP set|
|William Hooker||Crossing Points||NoBusiness CD 28; Lithuania||recorded 1992, released 2011||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin + Brass: Frank London, Curtis Fowlkes, Peter McEachern, Marcus Rojas, Al Bryant||Insomnia||KnitWorks 132; US||recorded 1992, released 1993||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin||Night Bird Song||KnitWorks 240; US||recorded 1992, released 1998||CD|
|Ronnie Mathews, Ray Drummond, Steve Johns||I've Got Your Number||Arabesque 110; US||recorded and released 1993||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin + John Zorn, Vernon Frazer||Menagerie Dreams||KnitWorks 167; US||recorded and released 1994||CD|
|Tom Harrell, Peter Madsen, Kiyoto Fujiwara, Reggie Nicholson||You Don't Know Me||Arabesque 115; US||recorded 1994, released 1995||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin||Ride: North Sea Jazz Festival 1995||Playscape 71595; US||released 2006||CD|
|Peter Madsen, Kiyoto Fujiwara or Scott Colley, Reggie Nicholson or Matt Wilson||Never Let Me Go: Quartets '95 & '96||Playscape 111095; US||released 2012||3-CD set|
|Avantango (Pablo Aslan, Thomas Chapin, Ethan Iverson)||Y en el 2000 tambien: Tango & Jazz||Epsa 16020; Brazil||recorded 1996||CD|
|Peggy Stern, Thomas Chapin Quartet with Drew Gress, Bobby Previte||The Fuchsia||Koch 7837; US||recorded 1995, released 1997||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin + Strings: Mark Feldman, Boris Raskin, Kiyoto Fujiwara||Haywire: Live at The Knitting Factory 1996||KnitWorks 176; US||released 1996||CD|
|Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin||Sky Piece||KnitWorks 208; US||recorded 1996, released 1998||CD|
|Borah Bergman||Toronto 1997||Boxholder 033; US||released 2003||CD|
With Machine Gun
With Mario Pavone
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