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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: Locus

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For over 17 years Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor have collaborated as the Chicago Underground Duo, a long-running partnership that has served as the core foundation for larger configurations of the group, including Trio, Quartet and Orchestra. The expansive nature of the ensemble's fluctuating personnel and the subsequent diversity of music produced has been a direct reflection of the founding members' varied interests and ensuing career paths.Mazurek's reputation as a bold electro-acoustic sound sculptor is well established, but belies the fact that his fundamentals as a cornetist lie in traditional hard bop--a robust foundation for his increasingly adventurous ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: Boca Negra

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Drummer Chad Taylor's and cornetist Rob Mazurek's intention with Boca Negra is to present the listener with “an emotional experience that transcends the idea of genre or label." The principle of inclusiveness starts with the recording location, Sao Paulo in Brazil, and continues through to the album's packaging: the cover shot was taken on the shore of the Dead Sea, while the title, which means “black mouth," comes from Tenerife in the Canary Isles (where it was coined to describe the crater of a local volcano). The fifth Chicago Underground Duo album, it's the first to have been recorded outside ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Chad Taylor & Rob Mazurek: Chicago Underground Duo

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Chicago Underground DuoBoca NegraThrill Jockey2009 Rob MazurekSound IsDelmark2009 Chad TaylorCircle Down482 Music2009 No account of American jazz in the '00s would be complete without a thorough look at the Chicago scene. The year 2009 was a good one, with strong recordings from Mike Reed, Josh Berman, Aram Shelton, Nicole Mitchell, Pluto Junkyard, Herculaneum and more. Kicking off 2010, cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor have ...

INTERVIEWS

Chicago Underground Duo: Two Voices, One Sound

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Percussionist Chad Taylor and cornet player Rob Mazurek are the Chicago Underground Duo. Since the Chicago Underground collective expands or contracts with each project, they're also two-thirds of the Chicago Underground Trio and half of the Chicago Underground Quartet. Born in the 1990s out of the fertile Chicago improv scene, the group has, in its various permutations, produced a consistently excellent body of recorded music that mixes large amounts of improvisation with electronica, sampling, and a vast assortment of world music influences that are always organically absorbed--never self-consciously imitated.

Of all the versions of the Underground, the Duo has done ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: In Praise of Shadows

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Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor regroup once again for their fourth album as the Chicago Underground Duo and ninth under the Chicago Underground moniker. The project has varied in size from duo, trio and quartet to orchestra, but the core of Mazurek and Taylor have always been its heartbeat. Utilizing occasional overdubbing and tastefully augmented post-production, In Praise of Shadows is their most stylistically varied and sonically dense recording.

Taking the title from Junichiro Tanizaki's early-20th Century essay of the same name, Mazurek and Taylor investigate the expressive possibilities of light and shadow in relation to the aesthetics ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: In Praise of Shadows

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In Praise of Shadows, the fourth release by the Chicago Underground Duo, focuses on continuing experiments in sense confusion within a single relationship: music and light. As with previous albums, cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor spend considerable time on piano and vibes respectively, creating a surprisingly full sound that is matched by a wide stylistic palette, from free bop to minimalism, in settings both austere and exotic.

Their interest in the visual power of music, most obvious in the name of their second album, Synesthesia, returns to the forefront here. Though this is the first CUD recording that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: Axis And Alignment

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The Chicago Underground Duo, made up of Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor, has expanded and contracted from the two core members to alternately become the Chicago Underground Duo (which actually was a trio), Chicago Underground Trio (was sometimes a quartet), the Chicago Underground Quartet (was actually a quartet) and the Chicago Underground Orchestra (don't ask). This year's release finds the duo scaled back to just Mazurek and Taylor pushing ever outward into the nexus of jazz, electronics, and improvisation.

Their penultimate record, the eponymously titled Chicago Underground Quartet (2001), was perhaps their most ambitious session to date. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: Synesthesia

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The Chicago Underground Duo, despite its name, is not a shadowy pair of comic book- inspired crime fighters. This dynamic duo has no underground lair and the only thing they're fighting on their new album might be the rigid conventions of the jazz musical establishment.

The group consists of accomplished musicians Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor. Part of the Thrill Jockey consortium of musicians who revolve around the label's popular practitioners of sugary coated progressive rock, The Sea and Cake, and their other label projects, Mazurek and Taylor, are both well-versed in the Chicago School of post- rock and postmodern, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Duo: Synesthesia

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Chicago's jazz and new music scene seems free from the heavy peer pressure foisted upon the New York Downtown crowd. Where New York's creative musicians tend toward holding things close to their chests, their Chi-town counter-parts are continually forming new bands, interchanging parts and creating music without the self consciousness and over-examination that goes on at der Knitting Factory. This openness is evident on the second release by the Chicago Underground Duo. The Duo comprises cornetist Rob Mazurek and percussionist Chad Taylor. With live and studio manipulation that Teo Macero would salivate over, the two sound as large as needed. ...



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