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James White & The Blacks

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James Chance (AKA James White) is among the many never-appreciated geniuses of contemporary music. His brief period of musical output, from 1978 to 1983, is an example of the best that the also brief New York No Wave scene had to offer (many of White’s no wave contemporaries like John Zorn and Glenn Branca have already received the respect they deserve). He had energy, vision, style and the most important, class – a combination that few musicians have ever or can ever hope to attain. Imagine James Brown using Iggy Pop as a megaphone with half of Brown’s band along with Ornette Coleman circa his free jazz period backing him. That’s only a starting point in trying to describe James Chance/White’s sound. It’s dense (even cluttered at times) and powerful. It’s extreme enough to make all the punk rock-listening jocks run away with their tails between their legs. What more could you ask for?

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