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No Yorker, James Chance…

found a home on the pages of those earliest issues of \’The Face\’, a fashion & music monthly launched in the UK in 1979. The writing in that magazine, while mostly fine, unquestionably played second fiddle to its sharp graphic content; in particular the cutting edge typography of Neville Brody. High contrast monochrome images of Chance with his saxophone jockeyed for column dominance under retro features on US manufactured pomades – \’Black & White\’ from Memphis, Tennesseeand colour spreads on Vivienne Westwood kilts kissed arse with Jah Wobble, Levine and Lydon. Robert Elms briefly proclaimed Trevor Sorbie the new Vidal Sassoon. Free Jazz was considered the new punk. The afterbirth of No Wave was considered and cool.

Like a good many New York City icons, of course, James Chance was no native son. Born James Siegfried on April 20th, 1953, his birthplace was actually in the industrial midwest – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – but relocating to NYC in the 70\’s, the newly Christened Chance / White / Black formed an early alliance with Lydia Lunch (who wrote and sings on \”Stained Sheets\”) in the seminal Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, championed by Brian Eno, and out of the abrasive ashes of the No Wave scene first the Blacks then the Contortions were reborn.

Recorded at Blank Tape Studios, NYC, in the Autumn of 1978.

Jody Harris: guitar; Pat Place: slide guitar; George Scott: bass; Lydia Lunch: vocals; Don Christensen: drums; James Chance: saxophone.

Produced by Bob Blank. \”Tropical Heatwave\” written by Irving Berlin.

JAMES WHITE AND THE BLACKS: STAINED SHEETS from \”Off White\” 12\” (Ze Records) 1979 (US)

JAMES WHITE AND THE BLACKS: TROPICAL HEATWAVE from \”Off White\” 12\” (Ze Records) 1979 (US) PURCHASE OFF WHITE CD REISSUE

#1978

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