Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rob Mazurek - Chants and Corners (Clean Feed, 2017)

Cornet player and electronic musician Rob Mazurek has been very successful in combining improvised music with technology and the music of many cultures. This album continues in that vein, bringing him together with Mauricio Takara on drums, Guilherme Granado on keyboards and electronics, Thomas Rohrer on rabeca, flutes, soprano saxophone and electronics and Philip Somervell on piano and prepared piano. There is a deep sense of humanity amidst all of the imposing electronics like on "Sun Flare Extensions and Other Dimensions," which features powerful cornet against a maelstrom of electronic sounds and punishing drums, creating fully energized music. The sounds they create are raw and exciting and this continues on "King Spot," where great rolling drums are framed by stabs of piano. The electronics increase  in volume and create a roiling free-for-all of noisy electro / acoustic sound and fury. "Halls of Thine Eyes" has arcing cornet and mighty drums amidst spacious droplets of piano notes. The dark and open ended electronics enter the performance, building into an imposing force and making for fascinating meeting and blend of electronic and acoustic sounds. Mazurek's cornet rises up from the depth of the din to make things even more intense. "Matrices of Lost Conversations" is the longest and most exploratory track on the album, beginning with acoustic sounds that are soon joined by smears of electronics. Squeaks and squiggles are juxtaposed against piano and drums. This music is tightly woven, drawing together many threads from jazz, post-rock and electronica and it advances boldly forward, before suddenly laying out into a spacey and ominous middle section. Echoes of plaintive cornet are heard, which evokes a lonely and faraway sound before the heavy drums and powerful electronics storm back in, making for a wrathful conclusion. There is a spare, nearly silent opening to "The Blue Haze" when the electronics fall in scanning and scoping out the scene with a science fiction veneer and taking on a frightening countenance. "Android Sun" concludes the album with a spectral opening for bowed rabeca, followed by slow and patient development of the improvisation, culminating in pounding and repetitive piano chords amidst a dark and foreboding setting. This album was a fascinating one to listen to, where the acoustic instruments are met by waves of electronics. The fact that everything melds so well is a testimonial to the nature of the musicians and their relentless desire to explore all minds of music and the complex emotions they evoke. Chants and Corners -

Send comments to Tim.