Chris Biscoe

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b. Christopher Dennis Biscoe, 5 February 1947, East Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. Biscoe taught himself to play alto saxophone in 1963, later adding tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones and the comparatively…
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Artist Biography by

b. Christopher Dennis Biscoe, 5 February 1947, East Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. Biscoe taught himself to play alto saxophone in 1963, later adding tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones and the comparatively rare alto clarinet. From 1970-73 he played with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, then worked with various groups in London, including Redbrass. In 1979, he began a long (and continuing) association with Mike Westbrook, making outstanding contributions to many Westbrook projects, notably the brass band (Bright As Fire), the orchestra (The Cortege and On Duke’s Birthday), and the trio (A Little Westbrook Music andLove For Sale). From 1983 he also worked with Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath (Country Cooking) and in 1985 he released a cassette of his music, Quintet And Duo, followed the next year by a sextet album, on his own Walking Wig label, that featured Italian trombonist Danilo Terenzi.

In the late 80s and 90s Biscoe toured and recorded with George Russell, Andy Sheppard, Liam Noble, Gail Thompson’s Jazz Africa and Harry Beckett, as well as playing in France with Didier Levallet’s groups and in the collective band Zhivaro, which includes Levallet and Henri Texier. He also became the first English musician to join the Orchestre National de Jazz, playing and recording with this unit between 1997 and 2000. He continues to lead his own quartet and also plays with improvisers Full Monte (Brian Godding, Tony Marsh, Marcio Mattos). In 1991, he released a second cassette of his own music, Modern Alarms, and recorded in the Dedication Orchestra on the Spirits Rejoice project. An exciting, modern stylist, especially inventive on baritone saxophone, Biscoe has yet to receive the attention and the recording opportunities as leader that his creativity warrants.