Eugene Chadbourne

Insect and Western Attracter

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Chadbourne calls this "a major work in progress for symphony orchestra, Balinese gamelan and high school jazz stage band." Let's give this one an "A" for concept and something less for execution. Actually, the five pieces represented here are each performed with different groups, totaling more than twenty performers. Each piece has an insect theme ("Mourning of the Praying Mantis," "Termite Damage," "The Cricket in My Life" (twice), and "The Swat"). The instrumentation is as wild as can be, with, for example, electric toaster, Casio Rap Man, mandolin, accordion, and, of course, the leader's 5-string banjo. Chadbourne warns in the notes that the selections on the CD are only excerpts and that the full compositions are much longer. Unfortunately, none of the excerpts really gels, and considering the hype, they're somewhat disappointing. The center does not quite hold, and however ambitious a project this might be, there are better examples of the mad doctor's work.

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