The Chicago Underground Duo was once asked to describe their music. This is what they said: (The Duo is) "an organic mixture of African, Electronic, Coloristic, Jazz influenced life supporting systematic, non-systematic feeling from two humans trying ever to expand outward and inward for the people and ourselves."
Here is the bio from their first release, "Twelve Degrees of Freedom."
January 15, 1997 was a cold and snowy night in Chicago. At the Lunar Cabaret that evening, two Chicago Underground Orchestra members were beginning to hone their skills as a duo during what they would later describe as a magical evening. Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor are stalwarts on the Chicago Jazz front and have played with myriad artists.
On "Duo", the two meld their various influences and talents to form a free-flowing, moon scaped recording. Taylor started playing professionally in Chicago at the age of fourteen. In 1991, he moved to New York. While in the Big Apple, Taylor performed with Lou Donaldson, Leon Parker, Junior Mance and Mark Turner. In 1993 he helped form the free improvisational group called the Life Ensemble. By 1996, he had decided to return to Chicago to participate fully in the development of the Chicago Underground Orchestra. Since coming home, Taylor has also played and continues to work with Fred Anderson, Ernest Dawkins, Art Ensemble of Chicago bassist Malichi Favors, and Billy Brimfield. Mazurek's tenure in the Chicago music scene spans over ten years. He has performed and recorded with many of the Windy City's leading musicians including Fred Hopkins, Tortoise, Gastr del Sol, Loren Mazzacane Conners and Jim O'Rourke.
Chicago Reader music critic Peter Margasak descibed Mazurek as having "...taken his playing towards the fringes...the assured muscle of Lee Morgan still pulses through his solos on more swinging material, the piquent phrasing of Don Cherry or the gorgeously abstract smears of Bill Dixon are just as likely to surface-though Mazurek is no mere composite of influences."
Here are some words about the s/t Chicago Underground Quartet record, released 6/01:
This self titled release is the debut as a Quartet for the Chicago Underground collective. In addition to the already established Chicago Underground Duo of Rob Mazurek (cornet, electronics) and Chad Taylor (percussion), the quartet model features Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217) on guitar and Noel Kupersmith (Brokeback) on upright bass. For those familiar with the Chicago Underground Duo’s recordings, Parker and Kupersmith add a lush, organic tone to the proceedings: abstract sonics meet gorgeous melody in this extraordinary sound collage. The Chicago Underground Quartet merges sound from disparate worlds that collide and caress in unexpected ways. From the opening arpeggio figure of "Tunnel Chrome" to the free improvisations of "Sink, Charge, Fixture" to the futuristic moog melody of "Nostalgia." Chicago Underground Quartet weaves sound that pleases. Recorded and Engineered by John McEntire at Soma Studios.