James Chance

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For other people named James Chance, see James Chance (disambiguation). James Chance_sentence_0

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James ChanceJames Chance_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationJames Chance_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameJames Chance_header_cell_0_2_0 James SiegfriedJames Chance_cell_0_2_1
Also known asJames Chance_header_cell_0_3_0 James WhiteJames Chance_cell_0_3_1
BornJames Chance_header_cell_0_4_0 (1953-04-20) April 20, 1953 (age 67)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United StatesJames Chance_cell_0_4_1

GenresJames Chance_header_cell_0_5_0 No wave, avant-funk, punk jazz, dance-punk, post-punkJames Chance_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)James Chance_header_cell_0_6_0 Singer, songwriter, musicianJames Chance_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsJames Chance_header_cell_0_7_0 Alto saxophone, keyboards, vocalsJames Chance_cell_0_7_1
Years activeJames Chance_header_cell_0_8_0 1976-presentJames Chance_cell_0_8_1
LabelsJames Chance_header_cell_0_9_0 ZE, ROIRJames Chance_cell_0_9_1
Associated actsJames Chance_header_cell_0_10_0 James Chance and the Contortions, James White and the Blacks, The Flaming Demonics, James Chance & the Sardonic Symphonics, James Chance and Terminal City, James Chance and Les Contortions, Defunkt, Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus and the JerksJames Chance_cell_0_10_1

James Chance, also known as James White (born April 20, 1953 as James Siegfried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States), is an American saxophonist, keyboard player, songwriter and singer. James Chance_sentence_1

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. James Chance_sentence_2

Biography James Chance_section_0

Born and raised in Milwaukee and Brookfield, Wisconsin, Chance attended Michigan State University, then the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. James Chance_sentence_3

There, Chance joined a band named Death, which performed covers of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground before moving toward original songs. James Chance_sentence_4

At the end of 1975, Chance dropped out and moved to New York City after the dissolution of the band and the death of its singer. James Chance_sentence_5

He quickly became active in both the free jazz and no wave punk rock scenes. James Chance_sentence_6

His first band in New York in 1976 was an instrumental quartet with violin, drums and bass called Flaming Youth. James Chance_sentence_7

After studying for a short time under David Murray, Chance formed The Contortions, who fused jazz improvisation and funky rhythms, with live shows often ending in violence when Chance would confront audience members. James Chance_sentence_8

The Contortions reached a wider audience with their contribution to the Brian Eno-compiled No New York collection of No Wave acts. James Chance_sentence_9

While Chance was professionally and romantically linked with No Wave musical luminary Lydia Lunch, the duo created seminal No Wave group Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, whom Chance soon left. James Chance_sentence_10

Chance was noted for engaging in physical confrontations, from forcing the audience out of their seats and getting in fist fights with his New York City audience, including rock critic Robert Christgau. James Chance_sentence_11

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. James Chance_sentence_12

In 1979, Chance collaborated with Arto Lindsay, Bradley Field, and George Scott on the soundtrack to Diego Cortez's film Grutzi Elvis. James Chance_sentence_13

Chance's stage and musical persona were finalized by romantic partner and agent Anya Phillips, who died of cancer in 1981. James Chance_sentence_14

Frictions between Chance and band members eventually led to a breakup of the Contortions in the fall of 1979. James Chance_sentence_15

The Contortions released one album, Buy in late 1979, and another album, Off White, under the pseudonym James White and the Blacks in 1980 (featuring Lydia Lunch under the pseudonym Stella Rico). James Chance_sentence_16

Chance re-formed James White and the Blacks with a completely different lineup that appeared on the 1982 album Sax Maniac which was dedicated to Phillips. James Chance_sentence_17

The group released one more album, Melt Yourself Down, a very limited Japanese release. James Chance_sentence_18

The first version of the Blacks was set up by Joseph Bowie. James Chance_sentence_19

Shortly after, Defunkt emerged from the Blacks. James Chance_sentence_20

In 1982 Chance toured with the re-formed James White and the Blacks 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. James Chance_sentence_21

Chance briefly relocated to Paris, returning to New York City in 1983 to record the album James White Presents The Flaming Demonics. James Chance_sentence_22

In 1987, he contributed saxophone to The False Prophets' Implosion album. James Chance_sentence_23

In 2001, Chance reunited with original Contortions members Jody Harris (guitar), Pat Place (slide guitar) and Don Christensen (drums) for a few limited engagements. James Chance_sentence_24

Original keyboard player Adele Bertei appeared briefly, but bass player George Scott III had died of an accidental drug overdose in 1980 and his slot was filled by Eric Sanko. James Chance_sentence_25

The reunited group has played twice at the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival, and, in 2008, at the PS1 Warm Up series. James Chance_sentence_26

Chance has also recorded with Blondie since coming out of his semi-retirement. James Chance_sentence_27

Tiger Style records released the 4-CD box set retrospective Irresistible Impulse to critical acclaim in 2003. James Chance_sentence_28

A live-DVD James Chance - Chance of a Lifetime: Live in Chicago 2003 was released in 2005. James Chance_sentence_29

In addition to limited engagements with the original Contortions, Chance has occasionally performed and recorded with the Chicago band Watchers. James Chance_sentence_30

In Europe, he performs with James Chance & Les Contortions, French musicians who have been his backing band since 2006. James Chance_sentence_31

They played a 15 show Europe tour in April and May 2007 and were back in Europe in October 2007. James Chance_sentence_32

In May 2012 they released the CD Incorrigible! James Chance_sentence_33

on the French label LADTK, comprising seven Chance originals and two covers, all of them brand new recordings. James Chance_sentence_34

In 2009 Chance made occasional appearances playing keyboards in NYC with a trio, with the material restricted to close readings of jazz standards. James Chance_sentence_35

In June 2012, Chance played in Portland, OR with local group Ancient Heat as his backing band. James Chance_sentence_36

They played a number of songs from various points in his career, including a new cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "Home is Where The Hatred Is." James Chance_sentence_37

In 2016, 19-year-old Dylan Greenberg directed James Chance in the music video for a re-recorded version of Melt Yourself Down, his first music video in nearly 20 years. James Chance_sentence_38

The video premiered on MOJO. James Chance_sentence_39

Discography James Chance_section_1

Albums James Chance_section_2

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  • Buy (ZE Records, 1979) (as Contortions)James Chance_item_1_0
  • Live aux Bains Douches (Invisible, France 1980)James Chance_item_1_1
  • Live in New York (ROIR cassette, 1981)James Chance_item_1_2
  • Soul Exorcism (ROIR cassette, 1991)James Chance_item_1_3
  • Lost Chance (ROIR 1995, recorded 1981)James Chance_item_1_4
  • Molotov Cocktail Lounge (Enemy Records, 1996)James Chance_item_1_5
  • Incorrigible! (LADTK, France 2012) (as James Chance et les Contortions)James Chance_item_1_6
  • The Flesh is Weak (True Groove, 2016)James Chance_item_1_7

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  • Off White (ZE Records, 1979)James Chance_item_3_8
  • Sax Maniac (Animal, 1982)James Chance_item_3_9
  • Melt Yourself Down (Selfish Records, Japan 1986)James Chance_item_3_10

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  • Theme from Grutzi Elvis (EP) (ZE 1979)James Chance_item_5_11

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  • James White's Flaming Demonics (ZE 1983)James Chance_item_7_12

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  • The Fix is In (decade 01 / Interbang Records IBR005 2010)James Chance_item_9_13

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  • James Chance - Chance of A Lifetime: Live in Chicago 2003 (RUNT 2005)James Chance_item_11_14

Appears On James Chance_section_3

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See also James Chance_section_4

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James Chance.