September 2007

Eugene Chadbourne & Jimmy Black The Jack and Jim Show
September 17, 2007 Arraymusic Studio Toronto
Entertained and Comforted by A Barnyard Medley of Sounds
by David Fujino
Blues, country, folk, rock, jazz and free, it was all there in the music of Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Black.

Drummer Black's style was a rootsy, authoritative, and strutting style (sticks no brushes all the way), whereas Chadbourne took the front man position, and, bent over his richly sliding guitar, he sang out a free-associated medley of wry and tender songs about life.

At one point, when guest improvisor/chanteuse Christine Duncan vocalized a series of downward howls, drummer Black grinned, the music slowed down, and his stick rattled between the snare drum and tom. At the same time, guest John Oswald's high chirping alto kept seeking entry to the moment, while trombonist Scott Thomson chose to communicate in deliberate phrases and amiable call-and-response patterns.

In the third medley, what started out as Chadbourne's guitar notes and tones flying around in free space, got regulated as soon as Chadbourne sang, "Like a motion in the ocean, it's sink or swim ..."

Jimmy Black and Eugene Chadbourne
And when he segued right into Ellingtonia, singing, "... never treats me sweet and gentle, like he should / I got it bad, and that ain't good", we knew it was pure ballad time. Thomson got all social in his plunger-muted talk-back. Oswald unreeled a high responsive stuttering. And Ken Aldcroft played high up on his guitar bridge.

Everything morphed again as Chadbourne's banjo now stood front and centre. He first plucked out the in-between-notes of the melody, and then rode out on a pumping bucking rhythm that got Oswald muttering and Thomson smearing high notes.

These free-ranging tones eventually coalesced into a heavily strummed banjo and voice version of that great, mysterious blues, "Two Trains Running".

Now we're talking.

Eugene Chadbourne — electric guitar, banjo, singing
Jimmy Black — drums and singing

John Oswald — alto saxophone
Scott Thomson — trombone
Christine Duncan — voice
Ken Aldcroft — electric guitar

We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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