Click here to [close]

Monday, March 2, 2015

1000 + 1 featuring Eugene Chadbourne – Butterfly Garden (El Negocito,2014 ) ***½

By Hugo Truyens

Jan Klare - alto saxophone & flute
Bart Maris - trumpet
Wilbert De Joode - bass
Michael Vatcher - drums & percussion
Eugene Chadbourne - guitar & banjo

It is strangely paradoxical that a free improvisation exercise can be taped and compared to another taped performance of the same pieces years later, with different people.  These pieces are from a suite called “Butterfly Garden” and the Good Doctor Chadbourne vents in them a long time fascination with bugs, insects, creepy-crawlies and other entomological entities.  This is the Bugworld Experience.  I listened to the septet version first, still for sale from the good doctor’s website, mainly because I discovered that it had Tobias Delius on sax and clarinet. It also had Wilbert de Joode on bass and Michael Vatcher on drums, as does the CD this review is about.  The septet version is languid, in many places some slowed down footage of butterflies in motion, utterly mesmerizing.

So when I start the CD I am immediately alerted by a tribal rhythm and the call of the horn.  This is Bart Maris on trumpet and when he is joined by Chadbourne on guitar and Klare on flute, I’m quickly drawn into a different garden. The Paris Swallowtail stutters by but once in a while his chitinous scales catch the light and reflect it, refract is it ?  The butterfly names are headings for little Ornettian studies in musical behaviour.  You need expert musicians for that, free musicians (Able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another (OED)).  Well, Jan Klare we know from the impressive Deep Schrott and the jolly gang called “The Dorf”, Michael Vatcher is percussionist par excellence partout , one of the not so many that can turn a drumset into a wave, Wilbert De Joode provides solid underpinnings, Bart Maris is one of the true trumpet players (check his Krommekeer) and then of course there is the unforgettable loose cannon known to the world as Dr. Eugene Chadbourne.  Dr. stands for draft refuser if I’m not mistaken. I could check. But my advice is that you go over to the Good Doctor’s website and acquire some of his goodiebags (mine came in a sweatsock).  He plays guitar and banjo on this outing and lends a distinctive edge to the proceedings.  Long Dash Skipper is playing now and Chadbourne transforms it into a demented bluegrass lick.  Playing the banjo is a hoot. Then touching on Reichian territory and off again in a skitterish rant. Not too shy either to dabble into a dirty sleazy bit of surfrock in Buckeye.

Improvisation is the process of devising a solution to a requirement by making-do, despite absence of resources that might be expected to produce a solution. The unifying moments in improvisation that take place in live performance are understood to encompass the performer, the listener, and the physical space that the performance takes place in. This is not me, it’s Wikipedia.  But it’ll do.

The Silvery Blue unfurls its proboscis and strikes nectar. Sorry, couldn’t resist.