The cause was complications from leukemia,
said a friend,
Chapin was one of jazz's more extraordinary
musicians. A typical
solo of his moved easily between traditional jazz and the sonic
explorations of the avant- garde, and in concert he was a showman,
using yells and roars and howls to charge his performances.
Chapin was a fan of two of the more raucous
saxophonists in jazz
history, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Earl Bostic, and he approached his
shows, in part, as theater. None of his extroversion diminished the sense
that Chapin was deeply studied, and in his playing one heard everything
from folk music of the world to be-bop, from classical music to early jazz.
And Chapin was one of the few musicians to
exist in both the worlds of
the downtown, experimentalist scene and mainstream jazz.
He came to his breadth of knowledge naturally.
Chapin began his serious
studies in the early 1980s, attending the University of Hartford and studying
with saxophonist Jackie McLean. He later graduated from Rutgers University
after studying with pianist Kenny Barron. His schooling allowed him to take
over the leadership of Lionel Hampton's orchestra for six years, starting in
1981, and also maintain a position in Chico Hamilton's band as a saxophonist.
But Chapin had other ideas, and in the late
1980s he formed his own groups,
most notably a trio with bassist Mario Pavone and drummer Steve Johns.
And he entered the fertile world of the Knitting Factory; Chapin was the first
artist signed by the club's record label, Knitting Factory Records.
For nearly 10 years Chapin pursued his own
music, working with the trio at
festivals and clubs around the world and also arranging larger groups. And he
spent a good portion of his time working with the more important names in
various factions of jazz. He performed with John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Ned
Rothenberg, Marty Ehrlich, Ray Drummond, Ronnie Mathews, Peggy Stern,
Tom Harrell, Anthony Braxton and many more.
During his career Chapin recorded about 15
albums; his most recent was
"Sky Piece" (Knitting Factory), a trio recording.
He is survived by his wife, Terri Castillo
Chapin, of Queens.
Obit lifted from: International Saxophone Home Page