The Foxbourne Chronicles is the forward thinking collaboration of pianist/composer Dave Fox and banjoist, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. This eclectic set was recorded in 2005 in Greensboro, North Carolina on the campus of Greensboro College. With the exception of Chadbourne's out of place vocal rendition of Nick Drake’s "One of These Things First," the disc has a continuous flow with a highly improvised, yet sonically connected pace.
Fox’s compositions are inventive without relying on melodic cliché or imposed harmony. His three movement "Sonata for Banjo and Piano (Quasi-Improvised)," the centerpiece of the disc, is comprised of short, unpredictable twists and turns. Each minimally contrived section takes the listener through unexpected ventures in modern improvised music. Fox tips his hat to Bill Evans on "Secret Love," a solo rendering that reveals the pianist’s commanding technique and sensitive touch.
Chadbourne, who is not your grandfather’s type of banjo player, takes full advantage of the tonal and rhythmic capabilities of his instrument. He plucks, pulls, scrapes, and bends to create highly atypical timbres. He proves himself to be an acute musical partner responding intuitively to Fox’s musical prodding.
The Foxbourne Chronicles is honest, fresh music conceived in an era occupied with blandness and imitation. Hopefully these two musical soul mates will have more to say in the years to come.