No Wave Icon James Probability Lifeless At 71

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James Probability, the No Wave icon who served because the saxophonist and singer of the Contortions and Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, has died. He handed away in New York, his brother David Siegfried introduced. He was 71.

Although a reason for loss of life has not been revealed, the musician — born James Siegfried — skilled a decline in well being over current years. Siegfried and his longterm accomplice Judy Taylor arrange a GoFundMe in 2020 for “private well being points and the COVID state of affairs.” Taylor handed shortly after, and Siegfried was hospitalized final 12 months.

Siegfried was born in Milwaukee in 1953. He started taking part in piano at his Catholic elementary college, then picked up saxophone at 18. In 1975, he moved to New York and began utilizing the identify James Probability. He joined Teenage Jesus And The Jerks after assembly Lydia Lunch at CBGB, after which fashioned the Contortions in 1977. They grew to become a polymath of the downtown NYC’s no wave scene, and Siegfried was identified for his confrontational performances by which he began fights with viewers members, together with rock critic Robert Christgau.

The Contortions launched Purchase in 1979 and have been renamed James White And The Blacks for the 1980 followup Off White, which featured Lunch and Robert Quine, and the band’s look in Glenn O’Brien’s Downtown 81. A unique lineup of the band later shared the LPs Sax Maniac and Soften Your self Down. Contortions reunited a number of instances since their breakup, and Probability appeared on albums from artists together with Debbie Harry, the False Prophets, and Kirin J. Callinan. His final efficiency occurred in March 2019 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Pat Place, the unique Contortions who later based the Bush Tetras, mentioned, “I’m so unhappy to listen to of James’ passing. Working with him within the early days of the Contortions was a curler coaster experience of enjoyable, creativity and madness. His loss is a good one for the downtown neighborhood and the music world.”


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