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Exploding Star Orchestra: Stars Have Shapes

Read "Stars Have Shapes" reviewed by Nic Jones

This release by the Exploding Star Orchestra is one of those rare examples of a present day unit able to travel to other places. Under the direction of cornet player and composer Rob Mazurek they've come up with a program of music which incorporates advances outside of the jazz tradition even while it strikes an extraordinary balance between established precedents and developments still in the process of fruition. Thus the collective voices on “Ascension Ghost Impression #2" ...

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Exploding Star Orchestra: Stars Have Shapes

Read "Stars Have Shapes" reviewed by Troy Collins

Stars Have Shapes is dedicated to the memory of recently deceased seminal free jazz innovators Fred Anderson and Bill Dixon, both of whom played with cornetist Rob Mazurek's all-star ensemble on separate occasions, including the magnificent summit meeting Bill Dixon With Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey, 2008). Featuring a rotating cast of renowned Chicago improvisers, the Exploding Star Orchestra has become a mainstay in the Windy City's jazz scene and a significant part of Mazurek's growing discography.Sequenced like ...

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Exploding Star Orchestra: We Are All From Somewhere Else

Read "We Are All From Somewhere Else" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

This record bristles with the hubris of an artist who ignores conventional notions of prevailing styles, blithely imposes his own aesthetic vision, and achieves a rousing artistic success in the end. That artist is Chicago-turned-São Paulo cornetist Rob Mazurek, who composed and conducted this performance.This record also bristles with the sound of electric eels. That's not a clumsy metaphor: I mean, literally, that Mazurek recorded eels in a special tank at a research laboratory in Brazil (two species, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Exploding Star Orchestra: We Are All From Somewhere Else

Read "We Are All From Somewhere Else" reviewed by Troy Collins

Working from a commission by the Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute to assemble a group representing Chicago's contemporary avant-garde, cornetist/composer Rob Mazurek's newest venture, the Exploding Star Orchestra, has long since eclipsed its provisional origins. Conceptualized and composed between Brazil, France and the States, We Are All From Somewhere Else is as ambitious in scope as it is in execution.

Mazurek's recent music sounds partially inspired by his new home in São Paulo, where he lives ...


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