James Chance


At that time there was such an incredible influx of young people with no money who just came here to do something creative. And people like that just couldn’t exist in New York the way it is now

James Chance, super-deluxe.com, June 2007

James Chance 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, 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.