A major force on Chicago’s singularly inventive music scene for two decades, cornetist Rob Mazurek has recorded with high profile artists such as Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, Stereolab, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and is an intrepid sound explorer.
Skull Sessions combines two of Rob's groups: Sao Paulo Underground and Starlicker with additional personnel. The band is an international cast of masters, including drummer John Herndon (of Tortoise), vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and flutist Nicole Mitchell, (both DownBeat poll winners on their respective instruments), Guilherme Granado on keyboards and electronics, Carlos Issa on guitar and electronics, Mauricio Takara on percussion and cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele), and Thomas Rohrer on C melody saxophone and rabeca (a rustic Brazilian viola associated with the northeast). The fusion of these musicians ignites a beautiful cosmic burst!
The big bang that led to Skull Sessions detonated when the We Want Miles exhibition at SESC Sao Paulo requested that Mazurek devise a presentation related to his deep affinity for the music of Miles Davis. In characteristic fashion, he decided against recreating any of Davis’s music, instead composing new pieces and rearranging earlier works for the Octet’s particular personalities and unusual timbres. The resulting album is a exploratory album that puts great musicians and compositions together and trusts in them enough to simply let them go!
released January 29, 2013
Rob Mazurek : cornet, ring modulator
Nicole Mitchell : piccolo, flute, voice
John Herndon : drums
Jason Adasiewicz : vibraphone
Mauricio Takara : cavaquinho, percussion
Guilherme Granado : keyboards, electronics
Thomas Roher: rabeca, C melody saxophone
Carlos Issa : guitar, electronics
“This music was created in response to a request to present something concerning my affinity towards the music of Miles Davis at the We Want Miles exhibition at SESC Sao Paulo Brazil. As I do not believe so much in re-creating someone else's music, I suggested I compose new music and re-arrange some previous music for this Octet for it's uniqueness of sonic timbre, somewhat strange instrumentation (cornet with ring modulator, rabeca (a north eastern brazilian viola), c melody saxophone, vibraphone, flute, piccolo, voice, noise guitar, electronics, bass synth, cavaquinho (a Brazilian ukulele), drums) and unique personalities.
This music is an amalgamation of ideas based on vocabulary I have been developing over the years with like-minded souls and various ensembles. My affinity and respect for the music of Miles Davis is total, and I sometimes make my music with the thought "what if Miles walked into the room while this music was happening...? Would he approve...?"... Probably not... But one must try....“ – Rob Mazurek 2012
supported by 28 fans who also own “Skull Sessions”
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.