Eugene Chadbourne is an American original: consummate improviser, rockabilly jazz guitarist, genre crosser, bug enthusiast, certifiable madman. This disc is a worthy addition to his oeuvre, as it features some notable collaborators: Ellery Eskelin, Gino Robair, and others. As usual, it is full of irony and all over the stylistic map. As usual, it is full of great music.
Chadbourne and Eskelin have their best moment on the opening "Nymphialiadae," on which they spin loose-limbed lines rapidly over a rhythmically even base provided by bass guitarist Brian Ritchie. But without a break the rhythmic bottom drops out and we're floating into "Danadiae," which is full of fright-night effects. The metal pastiches (which Chadbourne leads us to expect with a liner note about "the good old days of dropping acid and listening to the Moody Blues") come on "Mexican Yellow," "Clodius Parnassus," and the feedback-laden "Hesperidae." Also "Ithomia-Like Metal Mark," but that one seems to owe just as much to Ascension and New York Eye and Ear Control.
We also have rockabilly and bluegrass: "Buckeye," "Lacewing Invasion of Nova Scotia," and "Mexican Yellow/Tick Talk Flea Mart." Plus some nifty shifting of tonal centers with oboeist Carrie Shull on "Reward."
So it's another grand Chadbourne circus. Step right up.
Eugene Chadbourne, ac g, el g, bjo, dobro; Ashley Adams, b; Ellery Eskelin, ts; Lyn Johnston, contrabass cl; Jeff Kaiser, tpt, euphonium; Carla Kihlstedt, vln; Rob Mallard, ts, flt; Jacques Palinckx, el g; Dan Plonsey, ts, as, ss, Bb cl, Eb cl, stunt ob; Garth Powell, perc; Brian Ritchie, ac b g, misc. instrs.; Gino Robair, perc; Carrie Shull, ob; Lukas Simonis, el g; Jeff Sipes, perc; Leonid Soybelman, amplified classical g.
Track listing: Nymphialiadae / Danadiae / Mexican Yellow / Buckeye / Clodius Parnassus / Long Dash Skipper / Tick Talk Flea Mart / Lacewing Invasion of Nova Scotia / Reward / Paris Swallowtail / Danadiae / Hesperidae / Papilonidae / Ithomia-Like Metal Mark / Mexican Yellow/Tick Talk Flea Mart.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.