Chris Biscoe

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Chris Biscoe
Chris Biscoe photo.jpg
Background information
Birth nameChris Biscoe
Born (1947-02-05) 5 February 1947 (age 71)
InstrumentsSaxophones, alto clarinet, piccolo, flute
Associated actsMike Westbrook, National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Chris Biscoe (born 5 February 1947, Pensford, Somerset, England) is an English jazz multi-instrumentalist, a player of the alto, soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone,[1] the alto clarinet, piccolo and flute. Biscoe is most notable for his work done with Mike Westbrook[2] and the NYJO.

Early life[edit]

In 1963, Biscoe taught himself to play alto saxophone, and then started playing tenor, soprano, baritone, and also comparatively rare alto clarinet.[3]


Chis Biscoe was a computer programmer before he has been a notable presence on the UK Jazz scene.[4]

From 1970 to 1973 Biscoe played with National Youth Jazz Orchestra in London, doing gigs with various other London-based bands of that period, including Redbrass. Biscoe has worked with several notable jazz musicians during the seventies such as Harry Beckett, Ken Hyder, Didier Levallet, Chris McGregor, Andy Sheppard, Graham Collier, Danilo Terenzi,[5] Pete Hurt, Tommy Chase, Pete Saberton, Barry Guy, Dave Holdsworth, and Pete Jacobsen.

In 1979, Biscoe had a long-term association touring throughout Europe and playing international festivals in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA with Mike Westbrook and made an outstanding contributions for Westbrook projects,[6] notably the brass band (Bright As Fire), the orchestra (The Cortege and On Duke’s Birthday), and the trio (A Little Westbrook Music and Love For Sale). In the same year he also formed a quartet featuring Peter Jacobsen - expanded to Quintet in 1980, Sextet in 1986, and reformed as Quartet in 1987. He also worked with Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath (Country Cooking) from 1983 and then released a cassette of his own music, "Quintet And Duo in 1985. He then followed the next year by a sextet album, on his own Walking Wig label featuring an Italian trombonist Danilo Terenzi."[5][3]

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Biscoe toured and recorded with George Russell, Andy Sheppard, Liam Noble, Gail Thompson's Jazz Africa, Harry Beckett, and also played in France with Didier Levallet's groups and the collective band called Zhivaro. In 1991, he released a second cassette, Modern Alarms, and also recorded in the Dedication Orchestra in the Spirits Rejoice project.[5][3]

Between 1997 and 2000, Biscoe became the first English musician to join the Orchestre National de Jazz.[5][3]



  • Chris Biscoe Sextet (Walking Wig)
  • Modern Alarms (Walking Wig)
  • Silence Is Consent (Redgold)
  • Redbrass (Redgold)


  1. ^ Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz. Rough Guides. pp. 101–. ISBN 9781843532569. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Mike Westbrook". Glasgow Herald. 14 February 1983. p. 5. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "biography". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  4. ^ "CHRIS BISCOE". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Chris Biscoe". allmusic. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "ART WOLF". Retrieved 13 November 2014.

External links[edit]