Chris Speed

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Chris Speed
Chris Speed in Aarhus, Denmark 2010
Chris Speed in Aarhus, Denmark 2010
Background information
Born (1967-02-12) February 12, 1967 (age 55)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genresjazz, improvisation
Occupation(s)Musician
Instrument(s)tenor saxophone, clarinet
LabelsSkirl, Intakt
Websitewww.chrisspeed.com

Chris Speed (born February 12, 1967) is an American saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Speed grew up outside of Seattle and studied classical piano and clarinet from an early age.[1] He later began studying jazz, took up the tenor saxophone, and performed in a local big band while in high school.[1]

Speed attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he founded Human Feel with Andrew D'Angelo, Jim Black, and Kurt Rosenwinkel;[1] the band continued performing after his move to New York.[2]

Speed leads or co-leads the groups Pachora (with Jim Black, Skúli Sverrisson, and Brad Shepik),[3] The Clarinets (with Oscar Noriega and Anthony Burr),[4] yeah NO (with Black, Sverrisson, and Cuong Vu),[5] Trio Iffy (with Ben Perowsky and Jamie Saft),[6] Endangered Blood (with Black, Noriega and Trevor Dunn),[7] the Chris Speed Trio (with Dave King and Chris Tordini)[8] and Broken Shadows (with Tim Berne, Reid Anderson and Dave King) a band dedicated to reinterpreting the music of Ornette Coleman and Julius Hemphill.

The co-led quartet Pachora was influenced by Balkan and Middle Eastern rhythms[3] and said to be "immersed in Eastern European and Moroccan music",[9] performing originals and Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish works. Speed also performed and recorded with the Balkan brass and jazz band Slavic Soul Party!.[10]

Speed is a founding member of the avant-garde jazz groups Bloodcount (Tim Berne, Jim Black, Michael Formanek),[11] The Claudia Quintet (John Hollenbeck, Matt Moran, Red Wierenga, and Drew Gress),[12] AlasNoAxis (Black, Sverrisson, and Hilmar Jensson),[13] and Heroic Frenzies (Craig Taborn, Dave King, and Chris Lightcap).[14]

In 2006 Speed created Skirl Records, a label dedicated to Brooklyn based creative music, now with over 50 releases.

In August of 2021, Speed, along with guitarist Ben Monder, joined The Bad Plus (with Reid Anderson and Dave King) and their new recording will be released in May, 2022.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Rising Star on clarinet, DownBeat magazine, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • NEA composition grant in 1993

Selected Discography[edit]

as a leader[edit]

  • Yeah No (Songlines, 1997)
  • Deviantics (Songlines, 1999)
  • Emit (Songlines, 2000)
  • Iffy (Knitting Factory, 2000)
  • Swell Henry (Squealer, 2004)
  • Really OK (Skirl, 2014)
  • Platinum On Tap (Intakt, 2017)
  • Respect for Your Toughness (Intakt, 2019)
  • Light Line (Intakt, 2021)

with Human Feel

  • Human Feel (Human Use, 1989)
  • Scatter (GM, 1991)
  • Welcome to Malpesta (New World 1994)
  • Speak to It (Songlines, 1996)
  • Galore (Skirl, 2007)
  • Gold (Intakt, 2019)

with Pachora

  • Pachora (Knitting Factory, 1997)
  • Unn (Knitting Factory, 1998)
  • Ast (Knitting Factory, 1999)
  • Astereotypical (Winter & Winter, 2003)

with Endangered Blood

  • Endangered Blood (Skirl, 2011)
  • Work Your Magic (Skirl, 2013)
  • Don't Freak Out (Skirl, 2018)

with The Clarinets

  • The Clarinets (Skirl, 2006)
  • Keep On Going Like This (Skirl, 2011)
  • No Pressure (Skirl, 2019)

with Zeno De Rossi

  • Ruins (Skirl, 2014)

with Broken Shadows

  • Broken Shadows (Vinyl: Newvelle, 2019; CD and Digital: Intakt, 2021)
  • Broken Shadows Live (Screwgun, 2021)

as a sideman[edit]

with Tim Berne

with Jim Black

with Uri Caine

with The Claudia Quintet

  • John Hollenbeck/The Claudia Quintet (CRI, 2001)
  • I, Claudia (Cuneiform, 2004)
  • Semi-Formal (Cuneiform, 2005)
  • For (Cuneiform, 2007)
  • Royal Toast (Cuneiform, 2010)
  • What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform, 2011)
  • September (Cuneiform, 2013)
  • Super Petite (Cuneiform, 2016)
  • Evidence Based (Flex, 2021)

with Dave King

  • Good Old Light (Sunnyside, 2011)
  • Adopted Highway (Sunnyside, 2013)
  • Surrounded by the Night (Sunnyside, 2016)

with others/selected

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Fitzell, Sean (January 2012). "Feature: Chris Speed" (PDF). The New York City Jazz Record. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  2. ^ Chinen, Nate (24 February 2006). "The Listings: Feb. 24 - March 2; Human Feel". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Chinen, Nate (18 March 2010). "PACHORA: Cross-Cultural Rhythms Amid Relaxed Chemistry". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  4. ^ Chinen, Nate (21 August 2008). "Jazz Listings". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  5. ^ Ratliff, Ben (17 December 1999). "Chris Speed's Yeah No". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  6. ^ Astarita, Glenn (1 May 2000). "Chris Speed Trio: Iffy". All About Jazz. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  7. ^ Ratliff, Ben (6 March 2011). "New Jazz That Keeps an Ear Trained on the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  8. ^ Chinen, Nate (29 December 2016). "Pop, Rock and Jazz in NYC This Week". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  9. ^ Ratliff, Ben (10 January 1998). "JAZZ REVIEW; Gleefully Rattling Around the World". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  10. ^ Gottschalk, Kurt (19 January 2006). "Slavic Soul Party!: Bigger". All About Jazz. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  11. ^ Kelman, John (20 October 2005). "Tim Berne's Bloodcount: Memory Select - The Paris Concert III". All About Jazz. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  12. ^ Chinen, Nate (10 December 2009). "Jazz Listings". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  13. ^ Nicholson, Stuart (25 April 2019). "Jim Black Alasnoaxis: Splay". JazzTimes. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Broken Shadows: Dave King, Reid Anderson, Tim Berne, Chris Speed". Arts + Literature Laboratory. Retrieved 26 February 2021.

External links[edit]