In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Murray Allen
Murray was the kindest, smartest, efficient and free-thinking guy I knew. When hunched over the board at 1 in the morning listening to trumpet mults or figuring out that tubular bells recorded at 1/2 speed would create great harmonics, Murray could think.

We were touring a couple of audio installations around San Francisco last summer and laughing about the fact that he'd been in the business since before there was recording tape.Then he got serious and told me the best thing he'd ever heard in his life was Basie or Goodman playing at Roseland or a hall of that size playing at full tilt. His eyes glowed with the wonder of a child when he turned to me and said "it was the way the air moved in the place when they got going."

He went on to describe to me all of the little nuances and crazy ideas that went into inventing certain recording techniques and how today's mp3 file format is utterly necessary given the parameters of digital playback devices but how utterly sad that audio quality is not being advanced by such developments.

Universal Studios in the early to mid-70's was ground zero for the midwest audio business. We met and got to see the cream of the talent making recordings in those days and Murray did quite a bit to make sure that we had a great experience when we were in town.
He was quite interested in seeing a new invention that a friend of mine in Colorado Springs devised to advance 'listening" to music with the entire body, not just the ears.
Murray talked quite a bit about his work on teaching young engineers the fundamentals of music production and sound. One more than one occasion Murray said that its great that we can acquire the tools of serious production but unless you have some experience in the real world, you're productions will fail in the marketplace. I'd say that he was correct when you see how much music is available compared to how much of that music really touches you in some important way.
I've gotta get back to realtime life so I'll add more later.




Many of you have asked about the concert DVD of our August 1, 2007 concert in St. Paul. You can review and purchase the DVD at our next show in Minneapolis. Sample output below.

YouTube Link

Also available at the show


Your opportunity to hear the Pure Music band as it developed

from Spring 1973- Summer 1974

Podcast Sample Tracks
New Simple Ordering system

Bill Chase - Dartanyan Brown

It is heartwarming to know that after 35 years there are still a significant community of guys who really loved the every version of the group. From Colorado to Florida to Iowa to Michigan and elsewhere, I'm hearing lots of heartfelt appreciation and inspiration from what you got from our work.

I'm hearing good things from the 'early adoptors' of my BC Archives. If you cruising through here and want to know more about Chase and pick up CDs or groovy downloads just click the order link.

simplified order page

It's 2009, August 9 to be exact and this year, I'm happy to say that after many years of effort and patience, I'm happy to be offering my archives to fans around the world. I am happy to represent both Linda Chase, Bill's daughter and executor of Cha-Bill music and my own Mayorisha Music publishing in offering both downloaded and CD/DVD versions on my "field recordings" of my time with the band.

Usually, I post my August 9 thoughts here but this year, it's music.

26 tracks recorded over three different incarnations of the band.

Downloads or CDs? Just visit the simplified order page.


Bill Chase was for me, a living affirmation of the power of art and optimism over materialism and banality. Even though little was written about our group, we were proud of the band and our leader.

The final incarnation of the band guitarist John Emma, keyboardist Wally Yohn, drummer (and intense comic spirit) Walter Clark, trumpeter and soul brother Jim Oatts, trumpeter Jay Sollenberger, trumpeter and mystery man Joe Morrissey was basically a group of midwestern guys who were talented but-under sung players. Having the opportunity to play the music of a master musician like Bill was an all-to-seldom opportunity to get paid well for doing something we all dreamed about and worked for most of our lives.

There were no ego problems in the final group, although we engaged in a particularly nasty brand of gallows humor at times. Remember, life on the road during the energy crisis of 1973-4 was no picnic nevertheless, we would have followed Bill to hell and back--twice.

The airplane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. in July (1999) reminded me again of our own vigil, that August afternoon in 1974. Waiting for friends and colleagues who never arrived. That excruciating, slow transition through feelings of expectation, questioning, and concern. Then the fear, shock and then grief is something most of us in Bill's circle of family and close associates have probably still not really come to grips with.

In the wake of losing Bill, Wally, John and Walter, I returned to my native Iowa and finished my degree in Journalism. I worked for the Des Moines Register as a reporter and editor and continued to write and perform. I was ready to transition into a career in journalism but that industry started makingthe changes that have resulted in the chaotic media circus that now pass for "news" in the United States. Rather ironic that 40 years later, a career in rock 'n roll is basically more stable (and virtuous) than a career in American news media. Sad...and amazing.

I would like to sincerely thank all the folks,especially J.J. Martin, Bernie Nelson of Los Angeles and Kevin Seeley of Washington state who have spent much of their own time and effort keeping Bill's memory and legacy alive for new generations of fans to listen to and read about.

As time passes and my own children become adults, I am reminded of how small the circle of life really is. 25 -years ago I had no wife or children but in the interim I have raised, my son Jaimeo (pronounced jah-mayo) and my daughter Marisha to go out into the world and attempt to set the same high standards in their chosen fields as we did in 1974 when the seven of us, led by Bill, tried to set the world on fire with our music.

When I say our music, I am proud to say that Bill gave me opportunities as a composer. (a project for Gibson guitars and a song on the new album we were working on--but unfortunately never finished!)

So Bill Chase was a special person because he always gravitated toward good ideas--no matter who came up with them. As the only African American member of the three recorded Chase groups, I must mention that he was the most respectful cat in the world. Period. God bless you, all who read this. Now go practice. Craze would have. ;-)

Dartanyan Brown October 28,1999 (updated contact information added April 15, 2011)


How I Met Bill Chase
Chase's Jerry Van Blair Remembered

Thoughts on August 9, 1974


Bill Chase and Jaco Pastorius Remembered

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Chase Videos Online at


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