Alternative Press - 6/02, p.738 out of 10
- "...They're often sold as "post-rock," but the truth is, they're closer to post-bop, with just a bit of electronic atmospherics to hep it up..."
CMJ - 4/22/02, p.12
"...Even though Taylor and Mazurek contribue additional guitar, piano and vibes to the mix, the focal point remains that intense dialog between drums and coronet....expressive lines...above...grooves [that] are one part post-rock and one part future-jazz."
JazzTimes - 7-8/02, p.91
"...The Duo's most dynamic work, featuring some of its densest playing as well as some of its most buoyant..."
Mojo (Publisher) - April 2002, p.110
"...The musical envelope-pushing goes on unabated....as resourceful as it is bewitching....jazz, then, but not as we know it."
Chicago Underground Duo: Rob Mazurek (cornet, piano, electronics); Chad Taylor (vibraphone, guitar, percussion).
Recorded at Soma Electronic Music Studios, Chicago, Illinois in Summer 2001.
Personnel: Rob Mazurek (cornet, piano, electronics).
Audio Mixer: John McEntire.
Recording information: Soma Electronic Music Studios (2001).
Doesn't Rob Mazurek ever slow down? You'd think it would be enough leading Isotope 217 and making solo electronic records under the name Orton Socket, but no. This Chicago workaholic somehow also finds time to play in the distinctive and dynamic Chicago Underground Duo. Subsequent albums found the group expanding to a trio and then a quartet, but things are chopped back down to size on AXIS & ALIGNMENT, with cornet/keyboards man Mazurek accompanied only by stalwart percussionist Chad Taylor.
As ever, the group mixes a variety of elements, from '60s-inspired free jazz tinged with very contemporary electronic touches, to more "new music"-oriented avant garde explorations that occasionally bear a touch of their pals Tortoise (the Chicago scene is nothing if not an incestuous one after all). Mazurek's post-bop trumpet lines meld perfectly with Taylor's warm, organic vibes work while the pair fill in the spaces with pointillistic synthesizers and elegantly undulating drums. Here's hoping Mazurek never tires.