After a few years' hiatus, the Jack and Jim Show (Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black) came back to live performance in September 2001 with a short tour of France and the Netherlands. 2001: A Spaced Odyssey, the duo's seventh release, is the first CD to chronicle this new period of activity. The songs have changed but the contents remain pretty much the same, covers of Jimi Hendrix, Captain Beefheart, and blues standards filling most of the set list. Jack and Jim had already devoted a full album to Beefheart's music (Pachuco Cadaver, 1995), but the four songs they add here are worth the shot. They also revisit early staples such as "Another Cheyenne Anthem" (a wink at a song on their first CD Locked in a Dutch Coffeeshop) and "The Return of the Hippy Dog" (same), plus a rendition of "America Stands Tall," one of Chadbourne's 1980s protest songs (it first appeared on the 1984 LP The President He Is Insane). Ex-Mothers of Invention Black shows off his gravely blues voice in "Hoochie Coochie Man." Sound quality is OK, the editing well done (not a standard feature on House of Chadula records), and, more importantly, the performances are engaging and honest -- rock with the weirdest edge, live and sloppy as it was meant to be. Exempt of tape manipulation and dubious stage humor, 2001: A Spaced Odyssey makes a strong offering.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture