Music

James Chance

Born 20 April 1953.

Biography

James Chance, also known as James White (born April 20, 1953 as James Siegfried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), is an American saxophonist, keyboard player, songwriter and singer.

A key figure in No Wave, Chance has been playing a combination of improvisational jazz-like music and punk in the New York music scene since the late 1970s, in such bands as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions, James White and the Blacks (as he appeared in the film Downtown 81), The Flaming Demonics, James Chance & the Sardonic Symphonics, James Chance and Terminal City, and James Chance and Les Contortions.

Chance differed from some of his no wave compatriots by possessing (and demanding from his band) a certain level of musical skill and talent. His music can be described as combining the freeform playing of Ornette Coleman with the solid funk rhythm of James Brown, though filtered through a punk rock lens.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Twist Your Soul – The Definitive Collection

    Twist Your Soul – The Definitive Collection 2010

    Reviewed by Stevie Chick
    Two-disc retrospective of scabrous No Wave figure’s searing jazz-punk contortions.
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