Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

266

Chicago Underground Trio: Flamethrower

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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 complexity. Occasional grinding, pulsing, and chirping tones serve as an ever-evolving backdrop for instrumental improvisation. While the Trio (which on Flamethrower becomes a quartet with the addition of guitarist Parker) relies upon shock and surprise for much of their effect, they also entertain cohesion and subtlety for contrast.

The group appears just as much at home in sparse free improvisation as it is in composed unison lines over swinging rhythm. Cornet player Rob Mazurek can serve up a thick, warm melodic voice or a shrieking, warbling blowout depending on the situation.

This is not background music: it's serious stuff. Compositionally, the tunes on Flamethrower are demanding. Improvisationally, the element of unpredictability always rears its head when you least expect it. Flamethrower is creative work at the edge of the in & out continuum—music that requires the listener to pay attention and participate.


Track Listing: Quail; Fahrenheit 451; Warm Marsh; Antiquity; Flamethrower; Woman In Motion; Triceptikon; A Lesson Earned; Arcweld; Elroy; Number 19; 504; The Tungflec Treaty; The World Has Changed; Elray.

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet, electronics; Chad Taylor: percussion; Noel Kupersmith: bass fiddle, electronics; Jeff Parker: guitar, electronics.

Title: Flamethrower | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "The Romeo and Juliet Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "The Swimmer" CD/LP/Track Review The Swimmer
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 4, 2017