James Chance

James Chance

Infobox Musical artist
Name = James Chance

Img_capt = James White 1981, SO 36, Berlin
Img_size =
Landscape = Yes
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = James Siegfried
Alias = James White
Born = April 20, 1953
Died =
Origin =
Instrument = Alto Sax Vocals
Voice_type =
Genre = No wave, free funk, punk jazz
Occupation = Musician
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts = Teenage Jesus & the Jerks James Chance & The Contortions
Notable_instruments =

James Chance, also known as James White (born April 20, 1953 as James Siegfried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin),cite book |last=Strong |first=Martin C. |title=The Great Alternative & Indie Discography |year= 1999 |publisher=Canongate |isbn=0-86241-913-1 ] is an American saxophonist, songwriter and singer. __TOC__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 & the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions, James White and the Blacks, The Flaming Demonics, James Chance & the Sardonic Symphonics, and James Chance and Terminal City.

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 is frequently described as combining the freeform playing of Ornette Coleman with the solid funk rhythm of James Brown, though filtered through a punk rock lens.Fact|date=March 2008 Simon Reynolds, author of "Rip It Up and Start Again : Postpunk 1978-1984", wrote:

"And although "affection" is possibly an odd word to use in reference to a bunch of nihilists, I do feel fond of the No Wave people. James Chance's music actually stands up really well, I think. (Listen to James Chance & the Contortions, "Contort Yourself," 1979.)"
cite book |last=Reynolds |first=Simon |title=Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 |year= 2005 |publisher=Faber & Faber |isbn=978-0-571-21570-6 ]


Born and raised in Milwaukee, Chance dropped out of Wisconsin Conservatory music school and moved to New York City in 1976. He quickly became active in both the free jazz and no wave punk rock scenes. After studying for a short time under David Murray, Chance formed The Contortions, who fused jazz improvisation and funk rhythms, with live shows often ending in violence when Chance would confront audience members. The Contortions reached a wider audience with their contribution to the Brian Eno-compiled "No New York" collection of No Wave acts.

While Chance was professionally and romantically linked with No Wave musical luminary Lydia Lunch, the duo created seminal No Wave group Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, who Chance soon left. Chance was noted for engaging in physical confrontations, from pushing contests to fisticuffs, with his New York City audience, including rock critic Robert Christgau. At first this was just an attempt to engage the passive New York audience, but this practice is reported to have somewhat diminished after audiences came to expect the physical confrontations. [cite web
last = Georgopoulos
first = Alexis
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The Blow Up: James Chance
work =
publisher =The Blowup, LLC.
date =
url =http://www.theblowup.com/06/Projects/james_chance/
format =html
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-03

Frictions between Chance and band members led to a breakup of the Contortions in the fall of 1979. The Contortions only album, "Buy" was released in late 1979, after which Chance moved on to a new project with James White and the Blacks, releasing two albums in 1980 ("Off-White", featuring Lydia Lunch under the pseudonym Stella Rico) and 1982 ("Sax Maniac"). Chance's stage and musical persona were finalized by romantic partner and agent Anya Philips, who died of cancer in 1981. "Sax Maniac" was dedicated to Philips. The group released one more album, "Melt Yourself Down", a very limited Japanese release.

The first version of the Blacks was set up by Joseph Bowie. Shortly after, Defunkt emerged out of the Blacks. In 1982 Chance toured with his brother David "Tremor" Siegfried and his band David and the Happenings from Carbondale, Illinois, playing Chicago, their hometown Milwaukee, and much of the Midwest.

Chance relocated to Paris, returning to New York City in 1983 to record the album "James White Presents The Flaming Demonics".

In 1979, Chance collaborated with Arto Lindsay, Bradley Field, and George Scott on the soundtrack to Diego Cortez's film "Grutzi Elvis".

In 1987, he contributed saxophone to The False Prophets' "Implosion" album.

In 2001, Chance reunited with original Contortions members Jody Harris (guitar), Pat Place (slide guitar) and Don Christensen (drums) for a few limited engagements. Original keyboard player Adele Bertei appeared briefly, but bass player George Scott had died of an accidental drug overdose in 1980 and his slot was filled by Eric Sanko. The reunited group has played twice at the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival, and Chance has recorded with Blondie since coming out of his semi-retirement. Tiger Style records released the 4-CD box set retrospective "Irresistible Impulse" to critical acclaim in 2003.

In addition to limited engagements with the original Contortions, Chance occasionally performs and records with the Chicago band Watchers. In Europe he performs with James Chance & Les Contorsions, French musicians who have been his backing band since 2006. They played a 15 show Europe tour in April and May 2007 and were back in Europe in October 2007.

Chance appears on the video release "James Chance - Chance of A Lifetime: Live in Chicago 2003" backed by the Chicago band Watchers.


* "Pre-Teenage Jesus", Teenage Jesus & the Jerks (EP ZE 1978)
* "No New York" (compilation Antilles 1978) (with The Contortions)
* "Buy" (ZE-Arista 1979) (The Contortions)
* "Theme from Grutzi Elvis" (EP ZE 1979)
* "Off White" (ZE-Buddah 1979) (James White & The Blacks)
* "Second Chance" (ZE-PVC 1980)
* "Live aux Bains Douches" (Fr. Invisible 1980) (The Contortions)
* "Live in New York" (cassette tape ROIR 1981) (The Contortions)
* "Sax Maniac" (Animal 1982) (James White & The Blacks)
* "James White Presents The Flaming Demonics" (ZE-Island 1983)
* "Melt Yourself Down" (Selfish Records Japan 1986)
* "Soul Exorcism" (tape ROIR 1991) (The Contortions)
* "Lost Chance" (ROIR 1995)
* "Molotov Cocktail Lounge" (Enemy Records / Zebralution 1996)
* "No Exit (Blondie album)", Blondie guest artist, alto sax (Beyond Records 1999)
* "White Cannibal" (ROIR 2000)
* "Christmas with Satan" (single Tiger Style 2002)
* "Irresistible Impulse" (retrospective Tiger Style 2003)
* "Sax Education" (2004)
* "James Chance & Terminal City - Get Down and Dirty!" (Wind bell 4 2005)
* "Rabble" Watchers (guest artist) (Gern Blandsten 2006)
* "Vampire Driver" Watchers (guest artist) (Gern Blandsten 2006)

Appears On

* "Downtown 81" (1981)
* "Somewhere in the City" (1998)
* "James Chance - Chance of A Lifetime: Live in Chicago 2003" (RUNT 2005)
* "TV Party" (2005)
* Acoustic Ladyland - "Skinny Grin" (2006)


External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/pill_factory/ Discography] Verify credibility|date=January 2008

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • James Chance — en 2009 à New York Nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Chance and the Contortions — James Chance James Chance James Chance en 2009 à New York Nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Chance and the Contortions — James Chance in Berlin 1981. James Chance and the Contortions, led by saxophonist and vocalist James Chance, were one of the original punk jazz groups of the New York No Wave music scene. Their first recording, credited solely as Contortions, was …   Wikipedia

  • James Chance and the Contortions — James White (Berlin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James White and the Blacks — James Chance James Chance James Chance en 2009 à New York Nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chance Brothers — Chance s Glassworks, Spon Lane, Smethwick Chance Brothers and Company was a glassworks originally based in Spon Lane, Smethwick, West Midlands (formerly in Staffordshire), in England. It was a leading glass manufacturer and a pioneer of British… …   Wikipedia

  • James White — is a name shared by a number of notable men:In the military* James White (General) (1747 ndash;1821), American pioneer who founded Knoxville, Tennessee * James White (fighter pilot) (1893 ndash;1972), WW I Royal Naval Air Service fighter aceIn… …   Wikipedia

  • Chance (name) — This article is about the name Chance. For other uses, see Chance (disambiguation). Contents 1 Given name 2 Surname 3 Fictional characters …   Wikipedia

  • Chance (film) — Chance Directed by Amber Benson Produced by Amber Benson Danielle Benson Diane Benson Kelly Wheeler Rupert Cole Written by Amber Benson Starring …   Wikipedia

  • James Maurice Gavin — als Major General (Generalmajor) James Maurice „Jumpin Jim“ Gavin (Geburtsname: James Nally Ryan; * 22. März 1907 in New York City; † 23. Februar 1990 in Baltimore, Maryland), auch the jumping general genannt, war ein US amerika …   Deutsch Wikipedia