Galactic Parables: Volume 1

by Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra

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about

"Mazurek and company channel electric Miles, Sun Ra, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago to make a recording that is cosmic, spiritual, raw, and powerful."
– Avant Music News

“Inspired by years of living in Brazil, Chicago cornet player Rob Mazurek ... mixes jazz fusion influenced by Miles Davis’s early 70s output with Brazilian Tropicalia and electronica. The result is a psychedelic, spacey, multi-layered electro-acoustic trip; epic and, at times, intense and scary."
– The Jazz Breakfast

"I thought the whole band was exceptional. Very shocking, actually, to see how well they absorbed all of that Sun Ra influence and went on to do their own thing...they've absorbed all the things that are relevant so they can take all of that and make their own statement...they sound great to me." – Amiri Baraka after hearing the music on CD 1

Composer, cornetist, electronic & acoustic sound specialist and musical director Rob Mazurek leads his largest regular ensemble, the Exploding Star Orchestra through one of his most ambitious recordings. While Galactic Parables: Volume 1 is a self-contained cosmos, marked by colliding melodic lines and startlingly beautiful passages, as the title indicates, it’s part of a larger work. Ever since Exploding Star Orchestra’s debut recording, Mazurek has been gradually building an epic science fiction opera inspired by the writings of Samuel R. Delany and Stanislaw Lem. With Galactic Parables his vast speculative realm is coming more clearly into focus with an apocalyptic vision of alternate universes, machine reproduction run amuck, and the colonization of distant planets. Galactic Parables “is the first record where we’re getting close to hitting on the libretto for this future opera,” says Mazurek, who by both inclination and geography is linked to a constellation of Chicago avant-garde pioneers. Ultimately what makes the record so enthralling on both the flight into the cosmos and the return journey is that the Exploding Star Orchestra brings together a creatively charged cast of improvisers:

Rob Mazurek - cornet, electronics, direction (I/II) Damon Locks - text, voice, electronics (I/II) Angelica Sanchez - piano (I/II)
Jeff Parker - guitar (I/II) John Herndon - drums (I/II) Matthew Lux - electric bass (I/II) Matthew Bauder - tenor sax, clarinet (I/II) Chad Taylor - drums (I) Guilherme Granado - keyboard, samplers, synth, voice (I) Mauricio Takara - cavaquinho, electronics, percussion (I) Nicole Mitchell - flutes, voice (II)
[Sardegna, Italy performance = I / Chicago, Illinois performance = II]

All of these musicians have performed and recorded together under Mazurek’s leadership in various ensembles and configurations. In many ways, Exploding Star Orchestra is the mothership, the “conceptual, compositional and philosophical center of all my work.” Mazurek says. The band came together in 2005 when the Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute commissioned Mazurek to create a vehicle that could encompass the disparate styles and ideologies of avant-garde music unfolding in Chicago. Conceived as a one-off event, Exploding Star took on a life of its own, and has continued to evolve reflecting the transient nature of musicians’ lives. Each subsequent Exploding Star Orchestra project has featured an evolving cast of players.

Galactic Parables brings Mazurek one giant step closer to realizing his oversized vision.

The universe is a very big place. Rob Mazurek is doing his part to fill it with glorious sound.

credits

released May 26, 2015

CD One [Tracks #1-5]
Sardegna, Italy performance

Rob Mazurek - composition, direction, cornet, electronics
Damon Locks - text, voice, electronics
Angelica Sanchez - piano
Jeff Parker - guitar
John Herndon - drums
Chad Taylor - drums
Matthew Bauder - tenor saxophone, clarinet
Matthew Lux - bass guitar
Guilherme Granado - keyboard, samplers, synth, voice
Mauricio Takara - cavaquinho, electronics, percussion

Recorded live at the Sant’Anna Arresi Jazz Festival 2013 “Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz” on August 28, 2013.
Broadcast live from Piazza del Nuraghe by Rai Radio3.
Executive and Artistic Producer: Associazione Culturale Punta Giara
Special thanks to Basilio Sulis and all members of Associazione Culturale Punta Giara, Paolo Zucca, Achille Silipo and La Peschiera.

All compositions by Rob Mazurek (OLHO, ASCAP).
Produced by Rob Mazurek.
Recorded by Paolo Zucca and Live Studio.
Mastered by Casey Rice at Classix.


CD Two [Tracks #6-11]
Chicago, Illinois performance

Rob Mazurek - composition, direction, cornet, electronics
Damon Locks - text, voice, electronics
Nicole Mitchell - flutes, voice
Angelica Sanchez - piano
Jeff Parker - guitar
John Herndon - drums
Matthew Bauder - tenor saxophone, clarinet
Matthew Lux - bass guitar

Recorded live at the Chicago Cultural Center on October 18, 2013 by Ken Christianson, assisted by Deundeun Cho.

All compositions by Rob Mazurek (OLHO, ASCAP).
Produced by Rob Mazurek.
Mixed and mastered by Ken Christianson, Pro Musica, Chicago.

Artwork and text by Damon Locks.
Package design by Sheila Sachs.

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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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