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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pharoah & The Underground: Spiral Mercury

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The formation of the Chicago Underground collective in the late '90s provided cornetist Rob Mazurek with an unrestrictive setting to explore the endless possibilities of creative improvised music with his Windy City peers. A lengthy sojourn in Brazil followed, resulting in a similar project--the São Paulo Underground. Mazurek's international activities subsequently established him as a prolific composer and industrious bandleader.It was the release of Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey, 2008), Mazurek's fortuitous collaboration with vanguard trumpeter Bill Dixon, that confirmed his credentials as a visionary avant-gardist. The equally enthralling Matter Anti-Matter (caught on tape in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra: Matter Anti-Matter

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When he was under contract with Arista in the 1970s, reedman Anthony Braxton discovered that he was able to slip under the rug the release of some of his less commercially viable works, such as the mammoth For Four Orchestras (1978), by alternating them with more traditional quartet material. While electro-acoustic composer and cornetist Rob Mazurek won't be pulling the wool over anyone's eyes at the Paris-based Rogue Art imprint, he has achieved a similar outcome by coupling two opposite ends of the sonic spectrum on the double CD set Matter Anti-Matter. For the disc likely to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spiral Mercury - Chicago/Sao Paulo Underground featuring Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah & The Underground

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Renowned tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and new music, jazz-centric pioneer, cornetist Rob Mazurek bridge alternate generations of avant-gard-isms with this highly persuasive and indubitably, audacious production. It's an electro-acoustic meeting of futuristic minds, intersecting the trumpeter's Sao Paulo Underground and Chicago Underground ensembles. Moreover, they yield intergalactic nods to classic space rock via Guilherme Granado's inventive electronics, synths and samples permutations along with Matthew Lux's pumped up bass lines and Chad Taylor's sweeping drums patterns amid several distinctive indicators throughout. Several movements are modeled with blustery flights of fancy, complemented and expounded upon by Sanders and Mazurek's flourishing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pharoah & The Underground: Spiral Mercury

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With Pharaoh & the Underground we have two generations of musicians whose common bond is their greatness. Tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders--heir to his friend and colleague John Coltrane--and Rob Mazurek, the most inventive cornetist since Louis Armstrong are captured together on Spiral Mercury . The album is a document of a 2013 concert, one of the live performances Mazurek and Sanders have been collaborating on for several years. The two are joined by Mazurek colleagues from various groups; percussionist Maurício Takara from São Paulo Underground, bassist Matt Lux--of the Pulsar Quartet--and drummer Chad Taylor from the Chicago Underground collective. Rounding ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Orchestra: The Space Between

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Musical adventurer Rob Mazurek's The Space Between is a provocative and heady fusion of sight and sound. The double disc set includes an audio CD and a DVD containing performance and multimedia artist Marianne M. Kim's haunting, abstract video accompaniment to the music. The forty-minute suite is divided conveniently, and perhaps whimsically, into eight segments of 5 minutes each. The tracks however flow into each other with no physical or conceptual breaks. The sonic backdrop is synth heavy and the ambiance shifts from otherworldly and expansive to intensely thunderous. Even when not watching the intriguing visual sequences the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Orchestra: The Space Between

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Like a painting by Mark Rothko, whose canvasses contain rectangular fields of color and light that convey more than a visual experience, the music of Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Orchestra transcends a mere audio happening. Rothko's paintings exceeded the aesthetic confines of their canvasses into a spiritual and psychological realm. Likewise, Mazurek makes visually appealing music.Mazurek's cornet is only part of this phenomenon. On The Space Between he wrote the music and text, provided the cover painting, and the electronics. His music grows beyond the sonic here too with a video and choreographed dance by Marianne ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek Octet: Skull Sessions

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Chicago-based cornetist Rob Mazurek has performed with the best and brightest of the new jazz music scene. On this outing he merges his Sao Paulo Underground and Starlicker bands and invites other artists, capturing the essence of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew era. Mazurek frames Davis' jazz-fusion attributes as a fertile means of reimagining the overall vibe from a modernist's perspective. Fueled by diesel engine-like power, the band layers radiant colors with throttling pulses and numerous contrasts via swirling riffs, memorable horn choruses, and a boundary-less methodology. “Skull Caves of Alderon" is one of four pieces spanning over ...



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