All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Chicago Underground Trio: Slon

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The music of the Chicago Underground Trio (and Duo and Quartet and Orchestra) has always been about fragments of sound. Not so much abstract disassociation (of those fragments) but discovery of associations and the connotations of their similarities.

Whether they are post-Miles, post-Ornette, post-rock, or simply the new Chicago aesthetic, the Trio is pulling together the disassembled threads of late-'60s jazz experimentalism into an all-encompassing sound.

Where their earlier outings relied heavily on studio manipulation, Slon keeps post-production to a minimum. Not that cornetist Rob Mazurek and bassist Noel Kupersmith have given up their laptops. Plenty of sampled sounds appear here, with the sounds of the fish market heard on “Palermo.” The musicians are not opposed to setting aside the acoustic to meander through electronic beats. The genius of the CU is their seamless integration of the two. The track “Zagreb” hums with industrial gray noise before Kupersmith’s resigning bass line enters more than halfway through the piece, and the trio plays over the din until it fades. The emotional content of both the turbulence and the human touch are duly noted.

The power center here is certainly drummer Chad Taylor, who applies constant energy throughout. His simple solo intro to “Campbell Town” and rocked-out rhythms on “Sevens” launch Mazurek’s cornet both into a convincing incarnation of the late Don Cherry. Like Cherry, they play a sincere form of world music.

Slon was recorded after the trio returned from a European tour that began as George W started his world war. Needless to say, the band was effected by those (these) turbulent times. The opening track “protest” burns with anger and helplessness. Sure, I’m interpreting the powerful drive here, but Mazurek and Kupersmith’s overdubbed instruments leave little to the imagination.

Slon is certainly a powerful statement.

Track Listing: Protest; Slon; Zagreb; Sevens; Campbell Town; Kite; Palermo; Shoe Lace; Pear.

Personnel: Noel Kupersmith - Bass, Computer; Rob Mazurek - Cornet, Computer; Chad Taylor - Drums.

Title: Slon | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Thrill Jockey


comments powered by Disqus

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


Thrill Jockey



Giant Records



Delmark Records


Possible Cube

Giant Records


Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Mountain Of Forever
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "In Transit" CD/LP/Track Review In Transit
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017