Chris Speed

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Chris Speed
Chris speed E5122058 12.jpg
Speed at Moers Festival in 2008
Background information
Born 1967
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres Avant-garde jazz, free jazz, free improvisation
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, clarinet
Labels Skirl
Associated acts Pachora, Human Feel, The Clarinets, yeah NO, Endangered Blood, Trio Iffy
Chris Speed performing in Aarhus,
Denmark (2010)
Photo: Hreinn Gudlaugsson

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

He studied classical piano from the age of five, and began clarinet at eleven. In high school he took up the tenor saxophone and began studying jazz. He later attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Speed has lived in New York City since 1992.[1]

He leads or co-leads the groups Pachora (with Jim Black, Skúli Sverrisson, and Brad Shepik); Human Feel (with Andrew D'Angelo, Black, and Kurt Rosenwinkel); The Clarinets (with Oscar Noriega and Anthony Burr), yeah NO (with Black, Sverrisson, and Cuong Vu); Trio Iffy (with Ben Perowsky and Jamie Saft), Endangered Blood (with Black, Noriega and Trevor Dunn) and the Chris Speed Trio (with Dave King and Chris Tordini). The latter groups predominantly feature Speed's compositions.

Speed has performed with the avant-garde jazz groups Bloodcount (Tim Berne, Jim Black, Michael Formanek, and sometimes Marc Ducret); The Claudia Quintet (John Hollenbeck, Matt Moran, Ted Reichman, and Drew Gress); Alasnoaxis (Jim Black, Sverrisson, and Hilmar Jensson); and Heroic Frenzies (Craig Taborn, Dave King, and Chris Lightcap).


As leader[edit]

  • 1997 Yeah No (Songlines)
  • 1999 Deviantics (Songlines)
  • 2000 Trio Iffy (Knitting Factory)
  • 2000 Emit (Songlines)
  • 2004 Swell Henry (Squealer)
  • 2014 Really OK (Skirl)
  • 2014 Ruins (Skirl)
  • 2017 Platinum on Tap (Intakt)

with Endangered Blood:

  • 2011 Endangered Blood (Skirl)
  • 2013 Work Your Magic (Skirl)

with The Clarinets:

  • 2006 The Clarinets (Skirl)
  • 2011 Keep On Going Like This (Skirl)

with Pachora:

  • 1997 Pachora (Knitting Factory)
  • 1999 Unn (Knitting Factory)
  • 2000 Ast (Knitting Factory)
  • 2003 Astereotypical (Winter & Winter)

with Human Feel:

  • 1989 Human Feel (Human Use)
  • 1992 Scatter (GM)
  • 1994 Welcome to Malpesta (New World)
  • 1996 Speak to It (Songlines)
  • 2007 Galore (Skirl)
  • 2016 Party Favor

With Tim Berne's Bloodcount

With Jim Black's AlasNoAxis

With Uri Caine

With Dave Douglas

With Erik Friedlander

With Jamie Saft

With Craig Taborn


External links[edit]