Friday, February 05, 2010

Chicago Underground Duo - Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey, 2010)

For a band with only two members, this group gets an impressive variety of sounds. Rob Mazurek on cornet and Chad Taylor drummer also use the studio as an instrument, alternating between post bop jazz and near ambient soundscapes. Taylor's rhythmic sense is unerring throughout the album, whatever the tempo. Electronics are added at times, and add effect, especially at slower tempos making for spooky music along with slurred horn. "Green Ants" has sputtering cornet and rolling drums setting a fast pace, then moving into a slower abstract section before turning to an echoed effect at the end. "Confliction" was the highlight of the album for me beginning with stark piano and horn, the music builds around thick electric bass and punchy cornet. "Laughing With the Sun" also uses electric bass to great effect, locking in with Taylor's drumming and making an excellent foundation for Mazurek's clarion horn. It's interesting to hear them cover Ornette Coleman, getting a unique take on "Broken Shadows" which opens with vibes and rumbling drums in an ominous fashion. Mazurek's cornet arcs in and out of view building to a potent improvisation around massive slabs of drums. Boca Negra -

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