Hot off the press, is this new 2 CD-set titled, Jazz Bunker brought to you by the venerable folks at “Leo Records” and their recent upstart, “Golden Years of New Jazz”. Once again, the archives enjoy new life as these performances in particular emanate from a 1980 live date at the Jazz Bunker in Rotterdam, Holland by the trio of Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne and Toshinori Kondo. The great drummer Han Bennink is also known for his cavorting and somewhat comical or care free ways which serves as a perfect match for the equally talented yet at times, zany guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. Here, trumpeter Toshinori Kondo does very little to quell the rather maniacal improvisations yet it all boils down to good-natured fun!
With this release, we find the musicians alternating roles as we actually get to hear Bennink performing on piano, clarinet and tenor sax while Doctor Chadbourne mainly sticks with his various permutations of guitars yet is also credited with “personal effects” which opens the door for additional scrutiny. In a nutshell we are presented with 2 CDs of frolicsome fun and boisterous improvisation. The audience may have had the collective wind knocked out of them after these performances as the term; “uncontrollable chaos” might be an applicable portrayal of the music at hand. Essentially, the boys were letting their hair down and must have been enjoying themselves yet it may be a tad difficult getting through both CDs in one sitting. Perhaps this recording should be reserved for the proper – emotional – occasion or at a time, when life’s trivialities become overly persistent. Yet, we thank “Leo Records” for revitalizing these wonderful recorded documents, some of which were originally released on LP format, although in many instances “Leo” has added additional material and when possible, tidied up the soundscapes during the process. .......* * * ½
Han Bennink; Drums, Piano, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Bb Clarinet, Trombone, Harmonica & Voice: Eugene Chadbourne; Electric Epiphone Guitar, Acoustic Steel Bodied Dobro Guitar, Piano, Voice & Personal Effects: Toshinori Kondo; Trumpet, Two Different Euphoniums, (one of them Polish), Pignose Amplifier, Percussion & Voice