BILL CHATTIN loved the drums since pre-school when he was playing with two Lincoln Logs as the drumsticks on a building block. When he was seven, his family went to see Sal Mineo starring as Gene Krupa in the The Gene Krupa Story at the local drive-in movie in Indianapolis. That sealed his fate. He started drum lessons at nine with Lynn Jones for a year, then Richard Paul for six years. When Bill was in the seventh grade he was invited to join Gary Campbell, Skeet Buschor, and David Dunn in a jazz band. That group became a big band directed by Jim Edison, an Indianapolis trumpet player who had his own big band, played the arrangements of Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Stan Kenton, and many others. In high school Bill met Stan Gage, an exceptional drummer two years his senior, who turned him on to the John Coltrane Quartet with McCoy, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. He was awestruck. Stan also introduced Bill to Jon von Ohlen, who was an upclose inspiration on the drums (Jon later played with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton). Several years later in Boston, Bill took lessons with Gene Roma, who helped him with both drumming and living life.
Then came Alan Dawson as a teacher (Berkelee College of Music), followed by Lennie Tristano. Tristano removed all of Bill's preconceptions about drumming and jazz and then helped rebuild them in Bill’s own way by restarting from scratch. Weekly lessons with Lennie allowed Bill to open himself up in a very new and real way on the drums. From there, now living in New York City, Bill hooked up with several regular weekly jam sessions with different musicians, most notably with three groups with different pianists: Larry Bluth (with Lou Stelluti on bass, then Don Messina), pianists Tardo Hammer and Jon Easton.
Bill and Don Messina have been playing together since the early 1980s. Besides the two releases with the Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet, Bill recently recorded two CDs with pianist Sal Mosca, as a trio and quartet (w/Jimmy Halperin and Don Messina). As a rhythm section with Messina he has CDs with Jimmy Halperin, Jon Easton, Rick Moore, Ron Naldi, and three CDs on Zinnia Records as part of the Bluth Messina Chattin Trio (BMC Trio). The BMC Trio recordings have been awarded four-stars by Chris Albertson in Stereo Review; selected as “one of the best Jazz CDs of 1999” by Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe; received the 2000 IAJE Blue Chip Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording by Herb Wong; and given 4-1/2 stars by the All-Music Guide.
Over the years Bill has played with Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Ted Brown, Judy Neimack, Tardo Hammer, Larry Goldings, Dick Katz, Bill Crowe, Bob Arthurs, Joris Roelsof, Connie Crothers, Peter Prisco, Chris Aiello, Ted Brown, Carol Liebowitz, and many other New York area musicians. Bill with Don Messina are waiting the release of future recordings with the Ted Brown Quartet, the Jimmy Halperin Trio, and the Kazzrie Jaxen Trio.
Bill includes Lennie Tristano and Sal Mosca as his jazz mentors.