Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rob Mazurek Octet - Skull Sessions (Cuneiform, 2013)

Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek always manages to put together fascinating projects and this one is no different. Combining musicians from his Exploding Star Orchestra and Sao Paulo Underground groups, the music sounds wholly new, hinting at the Sun Ra Arkestra and mid-70’s Miles Davis, but always striking out into new territory. “Galactic Ice Skeleton” develops a throbbing full sound with horns, vibes, flute and strong drumming creating a kaleidoscopic sound pallette. Mazurek’s cornet enters the fray accompanied by sawing bow before the music fades to a gentle conclusion. A spacey, hypnotic feel imbues “Passing Light Screams” which grows a vibraphone and cornet duet which concludes with an ominous rumble and a dramatic science fiction-esque conclusion. “Keeping the Light Up” is short but extremely powerful with solo vibes rolling in gracefully clearing a path for swirling flute and sawing bow. Mazurek’s cornet punches through the thicket aided and abetted by snarling electronics and guitar and resolving into a torrid finish. According to Cuneiform, the idea that led to the album began when Mazurek was requested to write music to accompany an exhibition about Miles Davis. He elected to form his own group and compose his own suite and this excellent album is the result. Skull Sessions -

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