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Eugene Chadbourne: Beauty Out of Chaos

By Published: April 26, 2007
EC: No I hardly think a comment on these guys is necessary in a jazz magazine. I do like to study all the political jazz music from that period, also Gary Bartz Ntu Troop whose material we started nibbling on in GOIN. [The Get Out of Iraq Now band, with Victor Delorenzo and Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes and Brian Jackson, who played with Gil Scott-Heron.]

AAJ: One of your closer playing relationships also pits you right in a fascinating bit of jazz history. Han Bennink played on Eric Dolphy's last record when he was just twenty-three. You and Bennink have been playing together for years, and even put the song "Miss Ann, from that Dolphy record, out on a 7 . The two of you seem remarkably well-suited to each other. What do you think makes the duo work?

Eugene EC:That duo has worked through a changing set of circumstances, it worked when I was just a greenhorn and Han was doing much more of a surrealistic performance with multi-instruments, etc, it still works decades later with him settling down to the drum set and no longer demolishing the country songs I throw in halfway through. Over the years he has gotten into a lot of the rock music I play, which he skipped the first time around when it was new: "Hey, I like Captain Beefheart," he told me at one point a few years ago.

AAJ: Lastly, you've become a pretty prolific contributor to the All Music Guide web site, writing bios and reviews of many other musicians. Are you learning as much as you're teaching with that gig?

EC: The research is probably more valuable to me than it is to them in the end. Several different projects I have going on gain invaluable information as a result of the biographies and discographies I have been working on. Mainly, though, it is a way to give young or unknown people a little boost, at least some of them tell me the reviews and write-ups help.

Selected Discography

Eugene Chadbourne, The Hills Have Jazz (Boxholder, 2003)

Eugene Chadbourne/Joe Williamson/Uli Jenessen, Ayler Undead (Grob, 2001)

Eugene Chadbourne, Beauty and the Bloodsucker (Leo, 1997-99)

Eugene Chadbourne, Strings (Intakt, 1992)

Han Bennink/Eugene Chadbourne/Toshinori Kondo, Jazz Bunker (Golden Years of Jazz, 1980)

Eugene Chadbourne, Boogie with the Hook (with Charles Tyler) (Leo, 1977)

Photo Credits
Top Photo: Courtesy of Eugene Chadbourne
Bottom Photo: Juan-Carlos Hernández

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