9 Songs, 56 Minutes


About Chris Kelsey & Dom Minasi

Jazz and new music soprano saxophonist Chris Kelsey has led a number of fine recording dates, founded his own label (Saxofonis Music), and worked as a respected music journalist and critic. The New York-based musician had his recording debut in 1992 with Stomp Own It (now available on the Saxofonis Music label), followed by two on the CIMP label: Observations (which includes trombonist Steve Swell), and The Ingenious Gentleman of the Lower East Side (with drummer Edward Ware and bassist Dominic Duval). These recordings were well-received, earning Kelsey favorable comparisons to Steve Lacy and coverage by a number of jazz guides and magazines. Kelsey's own writings also appeared in a number of books and magazines including Cadence, Jazziz, and the All Music Guide to Jazz.

Chris Kelsey was born in Bangor, ME, on June 5, 1961, and grew up in Oklahoma. He learned music, initially, from his father Barry Kelsey, a saxophonist and flutist, and went on to get a music education degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. Kelsey spent the first half of the '80s working in R&B and jazz bands around Oklahoma City, then moved to New York, where he remained. In addition to learning from his many projects, Kelsey's education continued as he studied saxophone with Lee Konitz, and jazz history with Max Roach.

Kelsey went on to lead a number of groups including his Un-Ironic Quartet (which includes bassist Dave Hofstra), the Ingenious Gentleman, a strong group with renowned improvisers Joe McPhee, bassist Dominic Duval, and Ed Ware, and his Unacknowledged Ensemble (which includes drummer Jackson Krall), all of whom enjoyed album releases on Saxofonis Music in 2000. That same year, Kelsey also saw the release of two other dates as a leader: The Change of the Shape of the Century to Come (on CRI), and Proximity (on Kali Records).

Since moving to NY, Chris Kelsey has been a regular performer at the Knitting Factory and has performed five times with his bands at the Knit's What is Jazz?/Texaco/Heineken/Bell Atlantic Festivals. Kelsey also served as curator of the Bunker Annex Series for Free Improvisation from 1995-1997. In addition to the collaborators previously mentioned, Kelsey has worked with many other accomplished musicians including legendary bassist and improviser William Parker, saxophonist and composer Marco Eneidi, Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter (both of whom are in the free jazz group TEST), Phillip Johnston (leader of the Microscopic Septet, among other groups), and pianist Borah Bergman. Kelsey has also worked in the bands of drummer Lou Grassi and bassist Joe Gallant, among others. ~ Joslyn Layne

Bangor, ME
June 5, 1961