Eugene Chadbourne Bach Sonata and Partitia #1 for Violin

On one of his early comedy albums Steve Martin had a bit about the expressive range of the banjo. He marvelled how, no matter the subject matter of a given song ("death and sorrow and grief and murder") the banjo would make it all sound cheery. Eugene Chadbourne consistently dismantles the technical limits of the banjo with a maestro's fervour. However, even he is confounded by the instrument's emotional playing field. He is superficially successful at adapting Bach's violin work to five-string banjo, but cannot translate the former instrument's emotional heft with the latter. By the end of the four tracks that make up Sonata #1 you want to cry out, "OK we know you can do it, now just play 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown.'” (Volatile)