208

Chicago Underground Duo: Axis And Alignment

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Chicago Underground Duo: Axis And Alignment 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 quartet added guitaritst Jeff Parker and Noel Kupersmith on bass to play music of a mostly compositional nature. Axis And Alignment returns to the duo's freeier work heard on the 2000 release Synesthesia. The disc opens with "Micro Exit," a vibraphone and muted trumpet, Hitchcock-like soundtrack piece. The album then falls into two definite patterns of shorter improvised tracks that act as samples from an artist's notebook and longer tracks that satisfy the need for a flowing vibe of storyline. The two and three minute tracks tend to be spacier ("Noon") and noisier ("Particle And Transfiguration"). The duo applies an economical use of electronics, as a simple looping beat on "Rotation" and the terrifying machine that shorts out on the clattery "Memoirs Of A Space Traveler." Taylor produces the varying beats, be they the thunder or the splashes of vibraphone color. As for Mazurek, his Don Cherry/Jon Hassell cornet conquers both open and muted free/world music. Their stripped-down duo minimal approach to music produces an apocalypse of sound


Track Listing: Micro Exit; Lifelines; Particle And Transfiguration; Exponent Red; Average Assumptions And Misunderstandings; Lem; Two Concepts For The Storagem Of Light; Memoirs Of A Space Traveller; Rotation; Access And Enlightenment; Noon.

Personnel: Chad Taylor: Percussion, Vibraphone, Guitar; Rob Mazurek: Cornet, Electronics, Piano.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Thrill Jockey | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Altered Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Altered Narratives
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Meeting At The Parting Place" CD/LP/Track Review Meeting At The Parting Place
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!