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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Trio: Chronicle

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The Chicago Underground Trio is more of an idea than a group per se. With albums being put out by an ever-changing group of musicians over the last decade-and-a-half, carrying the torch as the Chicago Underground implies a commitment to pushing boundaries; be it sonic boundaries, or the boundaries that could inhibit a trio creating live music, the Chicago Underground is constantly presenting music that is innovative, new and, without a doubt, boundary-breaking. Chronicle, the trio's first all freely improvised album, begins with a droning, simplistic bass solo from Jason Ajemian that lasts for the full five-plus ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Chicago Underground Trio: Chronicle

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Chicago Underground Trio Chronicle Delmark 2007

This DVD marks a break with precedent for Delmark in terms of its content. Whereas their previous titles have documented live performances in the raw with little in the way of visual stimulus outside that of the musicians working, this one is lent a contemplative air through the visual input and direction of Raymond Salvatore Harmon, a man who, if the evidence here is anything to go by, is better than attuned to the idiosyncratic sound world of a group whose music is arguably as informed ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chicago Underground Trio: Chronicle

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Trumpeter Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor have a long history as experimental musicians. They play in several different bands and pull in like-minded musicians to expand into a trio or into the larger context of an “orchestra. For this venture they have Jason Ajemian on bass.

Chicago Underground Trio Chronicle Delmark 2007

Chicago Underground has never shied away from being bold and innovative. They prove it all over again with this performance, where everything is completely improvised. Ajemian, who plays as part of the trio for the first time, sets ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Trio: Slon

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The prolific Chicago Underground expands its discography with a trio session featuring the fusion of laptops, acoustic jazz instrumentals, and charged free improvisations that defines their recorded output. The program of heated high speed interplay and cold techno ice caps displays a range of sonic intent rarely matched.

For “Protest,” Noel Kupersmith bangs the bass and the race is on. Taylor plays slap happy, and Rob Mazurek sounds a charge on coronet, occasionally sounding like an energized Don Cherry. Beginning acoustic, the band increasingly shares the presence of ambient electronics swelling around it. Kupersmith’s deliberate bowing shares ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Trio: Slon

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The music of the Chicago Underground Trio (and Duo and Quartet and Orchestra) has always been about fragments of sound. Not so much abstract disassociation (of those fragments) but discovery of associations and the connotations of their similarities.

Whether they are post-Miles, post-Ornette, post-rock, or simply the new Chicago aesthetic, the Trio is pulling together the disassembled threads of late-'60s jazz experimentalism into an all-encompassing sound.

Where their earlier outings relied heavily on studio manipulation, Slon keeps post-production to a minimum. Not that cornetist Rob Mazurek and bassist Noel Kupersmith have given up their laptops. Plenty ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Trio: Flamethrower

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‘Chicago Underground’ is an overarching appellation for a myriad of projects under Rob Mazurek’s nominal leadership. Its various guises include Duo, Trio and Orchestra incarnations. Peripheral to these associations Mazurek and his partners also work together in a variety of other outfits including Isotope 217 and Tortoise. All of these groups demonstrate a penchant for electro-acoustic experimentation that has traceable roots in Fusion, but also draws liberally from modern electronics music influences. Real-time electronics and jazz-based, thematic improvisation are not always easy bedfellows and the music of these four players in trio setting demonstrates the problems that arise in trying ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Underground Trio: Flamethrower

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For the Chicago Underground Trio, anything goes. On Flamethrower, swinging jazz wanders in and out of an otherwise very free field. The opening track, for example, starts with a six-note bass groove. Jeff Parker steps in for a crisp, swinging guitar solo, then the ensemble gradually travels into free jazz territory. Punchy clusters replace clean lines, and the drumming moves into a pounding fourth gear. Just as soon as the noise started, it evolves back into the opening groove, and the band returns from their trip out.

With the addition of electronics, the group adds another level of ...



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