James Chance and the Contortions
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
One of the original punk jazz groups of the New York No Wave scene, the Contortions were led by saxophonist James Chance, aka James White. Their first recorded appearance, credited solely as the Contortions, was on the 1978 compilation, No New York. The following year, two albums were issued almost simultaneously on ZE Records, Buy the Contortions (an extreme jazz-punk LP) and Off White (a disco/standards hybrid released under the moniker James White and the Blacks, with one side vocals, the other side instrumentals). The same line-up recorded both records, although no one aside from Chance appears or is credited on the jacket of the Buy album. Following Chance and manager Anya Philips' acrimonious break with many of the original Contortions, the line-up changed frequently.
Chance was romantically linked with another New York No Wave luminary, Lydia Lunch; in 1979 Lunch appeared on the album Off White as "Stella Rico"). Original Contortions guitarist Pat Place went on to found the group the Bush Tetras. Guitarist Jody Harris formed neo-surf combo the Raybeats with Don Christensen, George Scott III and Pat Irwin. Keyboardist Adele Bertei formed the Bloods. In 1979 George Scott toured with John Cale as documented on the album Sabotage Live. Some of the African-American band members of "the Blacks," notably Joseph Bowie, later separated from Chance and formed the band defunkt.
- 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.) 
- No New York (1978)
- Buy (1979)
- Paris 1980 Live Aux Bains Douches (1980)
- Live in New York (1981)
- Soul Exorcism (1991)
- Lost Chance (1995)
- White Cannibal (2000)