The Lost Eddie Chatterbox Sessions is an archival document. It means that sound quality goes from poor to downright annoying. But the strength of the performance makes up for it -- and does it ever! Recorded with a cheap reel-to-reel machine on Christmas Day 1977, it features Eugene Chadbourne racing through jazz standards and a few of his own compositions on solo acoustic guitar. You can hear him humming out of key throughout -- that will unnerve a lot of listeners, but his playing is simply stellar. He performs 12 tunes from Thelonious Monk's songbook, showing his profound understanding of the pianist's art while giving these a genuine Doctor twist. His very personal arrangements on "Criss Cross," "Hackensack," and "Off Minor" will send purists and skeptics back to back. The remainder of the set comes from Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and Chadbourne himself. Two years after the recording of his first LP, Volume One Solo Acoustic Guitar, one can feel how much his playing has matured while sharing his love for the music of the best jazz modernists. The Lost Eddie Chatterbox Sessions was first released as a cassette in 1988 by the label No Prestige. The artist reissued it at the turn of the century on his own House of Chadula label as a CD-R without any attempts to enhance sound quality. Fans will definitely appreciate this material, but newcomers should start with Chadbourne's better-recorded jazz standards albums, beginning with the beautiful two-CD sets Young at Heart/Forgiven or The Chadbourne Luck.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture