Chris Speed

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Chris Speed
Chris speed E5122058 12.jpg
Speed at Moers Festival in 2008
Background information
Born 1967
Seattle WA
Origin Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres Avant-garde jazz
Free jazz
Free improvisation
Occupation(s) Bandleader
Instruments Tenor Saxophone
Labels Skirl
Chris Speed: Performing in Aarhus, Denmark.
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson

Chris Speed (b. 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.

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


As a leader:

  • 1997 - Yeah No (Songlines)
  • 1999 - Deviantics (Songlines)
  • 2000 - Trio Iffy (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 2000 - Emit (Songlines)
  • 2004 - Swell Henry (Squealer)
  • 2014 - Really OK (Skirl)
  • 2014 - Ruins (Skirl)

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 Records)
  • 1999 - Unn (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 2000 - Ast (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 2003 - Astereotypical (Winter & Winter)

with Human Feel:

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

With Tim Berne's Bloodcount

With Jim Black's AlasNoAxis

With Uri Caine

With Dave Douglas

With Erik Friedlander

With Jamie Saft


External links[edit]