Chase Sanborn is an engaging modern jazz trumpet voice with a warm, inviting tone, fluid lyrical phrasing, and a style that always swings. He exhibits the cultivated sensibility of a player at the peak of his powers.
Music Business Tactics is an easy and enjoyable read that provides sound, practical advice. If you are an aspiring musician, or you know one, get this book! You need this information!
Chase Sanborn goes right to the heart and soul of the music. His performance was an inspiration to hundreds of festival participants, and his positive and upbeat outlook made a lasting impact on our students
Jazz Tactics presents the material in such a clear and simple way, with the vitality and spirit of a live teaching session. This method speaks to all musicians, regardless of age and previous experience.
Chase addresses the needs of developing musicians in a manner that is understandable and relevant. My students were thrilled to work with someone who understands their learning curve.
Tuning Tactics teaches you to listen. In just a short time, I've witnessed strong improvement in my students' awareness. Tuning Tactics makes good intonation attainable for all!
Chase Sanborn has a natural gift for engaging and involving an audience. He shares a wealth of honest and knowledgeable information about music and the music business.
Brass Tactics offeres authoritative instruction balanced with sage and homely advice. It shows you how to handle yourself in any professional or amateur situation. No trumpet player should be without this book!

Arnie & Guido

Arnie ChycoskiThis article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of the International Trumpet Guild Journal.

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As it happens, I am writing this column on Canada Day, our equivalent to Independence Day in the US. With one foot planted in each country, I promised in my platform for the ITG Board to advocate for increased Canadian participation in ITG. I was glad to see a larger than average contingent of Canadians at the conference in Hershey; I hope that trend will continue. (To that end, I’d like to invite my northern colleagues to get in touch to brainstorm ways to connect our widespread community.) In keeping with the theme, I thought I’d use this column to pay tribute to two Canadian trumpet players who have played a major role in the Canadian jazz scene, and in my own decision to move to Canada several decades ago.

Guido BassoIn the trumpet world, certain players can be identified with a first name only, e.g., Doc, Maynard, Clifford, Miles, Wynton. In Canada, the single-name moniker applies to Arnie (Chycoski) and Guido (Basso). Both are strongly associated with Rob McConnell’s iconic big band, The Boss Brass. Arnie was the lead trumpet player, Guido the flugelhorn soloist. The Boss Brass, over its forty-year history, typified what came to be called the ‘Toronto sound’, characterized by finely-crafted arrangements played with precision and finesse by skilled studio musicians.

Arnie Chycoski was born in Westminster, British Columbia. He died in 2008, long before his time. Although Arnie made his name as a lead player, his lifelong colleague and Boss Brass lead trombonist Ian McDougall recalls that as a young player he was more interested in playing jazz. This is in line with what Bobby Shew has written, that his favorite lead trumpet players are all good to great jazz players, because of the feel they impart. I only heard Arnie play an improvised solo once or twice, and while it was never complex or showy, it was musical and in the pocket. Just like his lead playing.

Arnie spent five years on the road with Sy Zentner, where he roomed with another legendary lead trumpet player, George Graham. Whether by coincidence or mutual influence, the two developed similar styles. Rob McConnell once commented on hearing George play his charts that it was as if Arnie was in the section. Arnie settled in Toronto in the 1960s and became the first call lead trumpet player in the booming studio scene. He played with the Boss Brass from its inception, and arranger Rob took full advantage of his capabilities over the years; Arnie’s distinctive lead trumpet was an integral part of the sound of the band.

I first met Arnie shortly after moving to Toronto. We were playing dance gigs in adjoining ballrooms at the Royal York Hotel. When I found out who it was playing lead in the other band, I was a bit awestruck but mustered the courage to introduce myself. I discovered on first meeting what everyone remembers about Arnie: he was the sweetest man you could hope to encounter, honest and completely devoid of ego. He took simple delight in playing music and hearing others do the same. It wouldn’t matter to him what part he played; he was just happy to be part of the band. That said, when Arnie was on the gig there was no question which chair was his.

In the following years, I had many opportunities to play in the section with Arnie and witness his incredible consistency. I remember one recording session, early in the morning. Arnie was required to play a high A on the final note; I was an octave below him. (Arnie had one of the best ‘As’ in the business.) Because of problems emanating from elsewhere in the band, we were forced to record dozens of takes. As the time ticked and the tension in the room grew, I became increasingly insecure that I would be the next to ruin a take. Arnie-playing an octave higher than me-was unperturbed to the point that I remember him casually clipping his nails between takes. He was oblivious to the pressure because he was completely confident in his ability to play his part as many times as necessary. I once asked him what his ‘upper register secret’ was. He thought for a minute and then said, “I squint my eyes.” For Arnie, it was that simple.

Guido Basso grew up in Montreal. He spent time on the road with Vic Damone, and then with Pearl Bailey and Louis Bellson. One of his favorite stories from this time is meeting Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison. Guido asked him how he got his distinctive harmon sound. Sweets asked to see Guido’s harmon, then proceeded to hurl it at the floor, adding a big dent and, presumably, a bit of soul.
As a studio player in Toronto, Guido became one of the most recorded musicians in Canada. He has quipped that he’s the only trumpet player to have a career in the studios without ever playing above the staff. His prominence in the scene and gracious personality even landed him gigs hosting TV variety shows. To see a classic and hilarious example of Guido from that time, search YouTube for ‘Al Hirt/ Guido Basso trumpet duel’.

Like Arnie, Guido was a charter member of the Boss Brass. His feature charts established him as a preeminent voice on the flugelhorn. Before I ever met him, I transcribed his solo on Portrait of Jenny and played it every day for months. His playing combines a sound that is warm and personal–recognizable in one or two notes–with a finely tuned ear and an intuitive sense of melody that I have likened to Chet Baker. With a single note, often played in the low register with a bit of a bend, he can capture the essence of the harmony or trigger a change of voicing from the pianist or guitarist. If Arnie’s LA doppelgänger was George Graham, Guido’s might be Jack Sheldon, because of the high degree of personality that permeates their playing. His gifts as a musician and a human being are rare; accordingly, he enjoys universal respect and affection from all who are fortunate enough to know and make music with him. Guido spends more time on his farm than in the city these days, but he makes occasional appearances that affirm his continued status as unchallenged master.

My personal thanks go to Arnie and Guido for the major influence they have had on my life, and, on this sesquicentennial celebration of my adopted home and native land, to all my Canadian musical colleagues. Happy Canada Day, eh!

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