James Chance – Sax Education

The punk-jazz leviathan's 'hits' compiled and annotated by the man himself, with bonus live CD

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Two years ago, James Chance’s discography seemed permanently AWOL from record shops, but now you can’t move for his records. This is, of course, no bad thing, and the first disc of this new compilation serves as a reasonable sampler of his work between 1978 and 1988 (including a terrific version of “Throw Me Away” recorded at CBGBs in 1978).

However, the live set which comprises the second disc, recorded in Eindhoven in 1981, sees Chance by his own admission with an untried pick-up band, and the musical telepathy and power are pallid in comparison with 1980’s devastating Soul Exorcism. Neophytes are directed to the indispensable CD reissue of his two masterpieces, Buy and Off White, as reviewed in Uncut 71 (April 2003), though wealthier readers may wish to invest in the four-CD box set Irresistible Impulse.

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