The Squid's Ear Magazine


Mazurek, Rob Exploding Star Orchestra / Small Unit: Spectral Fiction (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Compressing his Exploding Star Orchestra to a sextet, Chicago trumpeter Rob Mazurek presents two expansive works of ecstatic, exploratory electric and groove-oriented jazz, performed with Damon Locks (voice, electronics), Tomeka Reid (cello), Angelica Sanchez (Wurlitzer electric piano), Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (double bass) and Chad Taylor (drums).
 

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Personnel:



Rob Mazurek-trumpet, piccolo trumpet, bells, voice

Damon Locks-voice, electronics, text

Tomeka Reid-cello, electronics

Angelica Sanchez-Wurlitzer electric piano

Ingebrigt Haker Flaten-double bass

Chad Taylor-drums


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UPC: 0759624575592

Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsDCD104
Squidco Product Code: 34313

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Corbett vs. Dempsey, in Chicago, Illinois, on March 25th, 2023, by David Zuchowski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"For the first time, a compact version of Rob Mazurek's magisterial Exploding Star Orchestra - Exploding Star Orchestra/Small Unit - commits its music to CD. Recorded live at Corbett vs. Dempsey's Chicago gallery space in March, 2023, the six-piece band featured Mazurek on cornet, Tomeka Reid on cello, Damon Locks on voice and electronics, Angélica Sánchez on Wurlitzer, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Chad Taylor on drums.

Spectral Fiction consists of two tracks, the deeply exploratory "Equations of Love in Prismatic Waves of Color," clocking in at nearly 40-minutes, and the supergroovalistic 14-minutes of "Driftless" (a Mazurek-penned melody named after the Sam Gilliam exhibition in which the music took place and by which it was inspired).

The musicians were already warmed up - really hot at this point - by a concert the night before, playing music from their great International Anthem LP Lightning Dreamers in the Sky Theater at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. With Locks's incantatory samples and momentum-staked poetry and Reid's incisive pizzicato and arco cello intonations, the band moves through a spectacular range of diverse colors and emotional zones, locking into rolling grooves and opening out onto fields of energy and sound.

Often open and investigatory, it's a different side of Mazurek's vision from the eight previous Orchestra releases dating back to 2007, a lighter, more aerodynamic incarnation of the cosmic-conscious ensemble."-Corbett Vs. Dempsey


Artist Biographies

"Rob Mazurek is an American electro-acoustic composer, cornetist, improviser and visual artist living in Chicago, Illinois. As a composer, Rob Mazurek has written over 300 original compositions over the past 30 years, and has released 55 recordings on various labels. He currently leads a number of ensembles, including Exploding Star Orchestra, Pharoah and the Underground (featuring Pharoah Sanders), Chicago Underground, Pulsar Quartet, São Paulo Underground, Skull Sessions, Sound Is Quintet, Starlicker, Mandarin Movie and Throne of the House of Good and Evil, each of which possesses its own distinct musical personality.

He has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, such as Bill Dixon, Pharoah Sanders, Mike Ladd, Roscoe Mitchell, Yusef Lateef, Fred Anderson, Naná Vasconcelos, Mamelo Sound System, Kassin and Marcelo Camelo and others. Additionally, Rob Mazurek works as a visual artist (incorporating sound, painting and video) with numerous international performances, exhibitions and artist residencies."

-Rob Mazurek Website (http://robmazurek.com/)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist, musician, and deejay. Known for decades of different projects in Chicago's underground music scenes, Locks's CV starts in the late 1980s with the band Trenchmouth (which featured Fred Armisen on drums) and is highlighted by work with The Eternals (co- led by Trenchmouth bandmate Wayne Montana), Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra, collaborations with Nicole Mitchell, Ben LaMar Gay, and many others. In recent years Locks has traversed almost every media discipline... including sound/animation work using unheard Sun Ra recordings from Experimental Sound Studio's archive (with Terri Kapsalis, Wayne Montana, and Rob Shaw); various collaborations with contemporary dancers & choreographers including Onye Ozuzu, Ayesha Jaco (of Move Me Soul), and Anna Martine Whitehead (on presentations & workshops with the Detroit Justice Center); participating in artist residencies at The New Quorum in New Orleans (alongside Nicole Mitchell, Lisa E Harris, Wadada Leo Smith, and others); teaching work with incarcerated artists for the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville maximum security prison; and producing album artwork for several International Anthem releases, including Makaya McCraven's Universal Beings, Irreversible Entanglements, and more."

-International Anthem (https://www.intlanthem.com/artist-bios/damon-locks)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Pianist/Composer/Educator Angelica Sanchez moved to New York from Arizona in 1994. Since moving to the East Coast Sanchez has played with such players as: Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, Richard Davis, Chad Taylor, Chris Lightcap, Rob Mazurek, Vincent Chancey, Susie Ibarra, Tim Berne, Mario Pavone, Mark Dresser, Ben Monder and many more. Sanchez leads many groups including her own quintet featuring Marc Ducret, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress, and Tom Rainey. Her music has been recognized in international publications like, " Jazz Times Magazine", The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many more. She was also the 2008 recipient of the French/American Chamber Music America grant and the 2011 Rockefellers Brothers Pocantico artist residency. Her CD "Life Between" was chosen as one of years best recording 2009 in "The New York City Jazz Record (formerly AllAboutJazz-New York)." Her debut solo CD "A Little House" was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition in May 2011. Her latest CD "Wires & Moss" featuring her Quintet was chosen as one of best Releases of 2012 in "The New York City Jazz Record (formerly AllAboutJazz-New York)." Her Duo CD "Twine Forest" with Wadada Leo Smith received Honorable Mention as a best release in 2013 in "The New York City Jazz Record." Angelica has a Master's in Arranging from William Paterson University."

-Angelica Sanchez Website (http://www.angelicasanchez.com/biopress.html)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b. 1971, Oppdal) - studied Jazz at the Music Consevatory in Trondheim, Norway (1992-1995) under the tutelage of bassplayer Odd Magne Gridseth.

When one listens to the great bassists in modern jazz history, a striking thing (though it may not be immediately arrived at) is that greatness is reached through open-mindedness and diversity. William Parker, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Peter Kowald, Wilbur Ware, Bertram Turetsky, Buell Neidlinger - all of these bass players have embraced a lifestyle of playing all sorts of music and the breadth of each musicians' technique is a testament to those experiences. Norwegian bassist and composer Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is also a musician whose experience is both geographical and aesthetic. While the fertile Scandinavian new jazz scene offered a vast amount of opportunities to work in different bands with musicians whose concepts are as individual as the grains in a reed, Flaten has found home and on-the-bandstand education in places as far flung as Chicago and his current residence Austin, Texas.

A muscular player whose tone and attack run the gamut from Paul Chambers to Buschi Niebergall, his sense of both openness and control serves ensembles as diverse as The Thing, Free Fall, Atomic, Scorch Trio and the Kornstad/Håker Flaten Duo. In addition to his own Chicago Sextet and Austin-centric Young Mothers, Flaten has also recorded and performed with Frode Gjerstad, Dave Rempis, Bobby Bradford, the AALY Trio, Ken Vandermark, Stephen Gauci, Tony Malaby, Daniel Levin, Dennis Gonzalez and numerous others. Flaten studied at the Conservatory in Trondheim (1992-1995), turning professional shortly afterward, yet his hunger to play in new situations with new musicians - schooled or amateur, frequently recorded or just starting out - puts him in a rare class, that of a truly broad-minded artist. That mettle has served him well, living and developing the music under his own steam and drawing from influences as diverse as Derek Bailey, George Russell, Chris McGregor, filmmakers Ingmar Bergman, contemporary pop melody and gritty punk music as well as everyday sights and sounds.

There is a calmness and self-assuredness that imbues all great artists, in that the diversity of their work comes with very little ego. Flaten's artistry is often in collective, leaderless ensembles and in fact, following a decade of professional musicianship it wasn't until 2004 that his leader-debut was released - Quintet (Jazzland, followed in 2008 by The Year of the Boar, and a Sextet recording is upcoming). This latter fact is partly due to the necessity of a copacetic situation - in an interview in 2010 with the Austinist he noted that "I use people where I'm located. It's inspiring to have your own band to write for, but you have to make sure that people feel free and not limited by the music; the compositions should lead the way to a player's open mind, and that is a challenge." Certainly not every bandleader/composer thinks this way.

In 2011, he formed another ensemble, The Young Mothers, which includes drummers Stefan Gonzalez (Dallas) and Frank Rosaly (Chicago), trumpeter/poet/rapper Jawaad Taylor (New York), saxophonist Jason Jackson (Houston), and Jonathan Horne (Austin) on guitar. It's a group of varying levels and influences and as it grows organically, will be another excellent lens through which to view Flaten's aesthetic, philosophy, and musicianship. The next few years see him in a position where established ensembles can steep and spread their influence, while experimenting with and nurturing a wide range of new relationships."

-Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Website (http://www.ingebrigtflaten.com/about-me/)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:

"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages." Allmusic.com

Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."

-Chad Taylor Website (http://www.chadtaylordrums.net/html/about.php)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Equations of Love in Prismatic Waves of Color 38:25

2. Driftless 13:14

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Unusual Vocal Forms
Sextet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Corbett vs. Dempsey.


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