229

Rob Mazurek Quintet: Sound Is

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Rob Mazurek Quintet: Sound Is On the surface, cornet and keyboard player Rob Mazurek doesn't seem to have a lot of time for the past. His commitment to music outside of any overt "jazz" continuum helps keep him fresh and avoid the sterility of a neo-conservative stance, so that even when the experimental nature of the music misfires, the degree of commitment still shines through.

All of this is apparent when his cornet comes to the fore on "The Earthquake Tree," where soloist and band coalesce nicely in a setting tinged in equal measure by fusion and post-bop, but without any of their usual connotations. Certainly the music doesn't consciously ape much of what's gone before, and while the weight of history lies with it, it's still shot through with freshness.

"Dragon Kites" is something else however, very much a product of the present day. Leading on cornet again, Mazurek starts out repetitiously with minimal, negligible phrasing, yet the ebb and flow of the music is far from predictable. The music rides on waves of depth and substance, enough to throw the whole effect off-balance, again revealing Mazurek's impatience with the past, as if it's a place worthy only of reflection as opposed to awe. When Mazurek does solo in the widely understood sense of the term, there is an ambiguity about his contribution that makes it unpredictable.

On "Cinnamon Tree," the spirit of electric Miles Davis stalks the music's fringes in the way stealth and propulsion come together. John Herndon on drums and Jason Adasiewicz on vibes create that feeling as they seem to keep the music from sounding aimless. The feel of ambient music is held in check through rhythmic involvement, and the leader again shows how disinterested he is in the soloist-with-accompaniment format. His repetition of phrases is studied yet lacking in calculation.

By contrast, the increased tempo of "The Dream Rocker" could almost be the work of a different band shrugging off the restraint that marks so much of the program. Mazurek's band makes the same point in a different way on "Beauty Wolf," where the free and reflective co-exist, making the very unity of the program a thing of wonder.


Track Listing: As if an Angel Fell from the Sky; The Earthquake Tree; Dragon Kites; The Star Splitter; The Hill; Le Baiser (The Kiss); The Lightning Field; Cinnamon Tree; The Dream Rocker; Beauty Wolf; Microraptagonafly; Aphrodite Rising; The Field; Nora Grace.

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet, synthesiser, piano; Jason Adasiewicz: vibes; Josh Abrams: bass, piano; Matthew Lux: bass guitar; John Herndon: drums, percussion, tenori-on.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

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 The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Oakland/Lisboa" CD/LP/Track Review Oakland/Lisboa
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!