Chicago Underground Duo In Praise of Shadows
- Released: September 2, 2009
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Thrill Jockey
Magnet - p.89"Consciously or otherwise, the Duo is making a musical statement: If improv is going to thrive in the 21st century, embracing textures from around the globe is inevitable."
The Wire - p.45"Mazurek is a player of great poise and elegance, while Taylor's deftness, imagination and formidable technical skill always make his playing a joy to listen to."
CMJ - p.5"[T]he duo make sure to never reach a defined space, alternating between spacious call-and-response, abstract soundscapes, and noise-induced ruckus."
Down Beat - p.683 stars out of 5 -- "It's young-at-heart stuff, the indie-rock ethic burned into jazz's avant wing....[With] abstractions that you can nail down pretty fast..."
JazzTimes - p.71"[T]he 12-minute title track starts with a stark, sparring between piano and drums, all oblique intrigue and Cubist shafts of vivid timbres."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Rob Mazurek (cornet, piano, prepared piano, celesta, harpsichord, organ, keyboards, ring modulator, sound effects); Chad Taylor (vibraphone, drums, cymbals, mbira, percussion, gong).
Recording information: SOMA Electronic Music Studios, Chicago, IL (08/2005).
A subtle collusion of free jazz and ambient music, IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS features the Chicago combo departing from the more traditional jazz lineup of SLON in favor of a combination of atmospheric, percussion-accompanied horn improvisations and the skittering, furtive title track. Vibraphone-laced pieces like "Falling Awake" have a crepuscular feel, while "The Glass House" recalls Javanese gamelan music, "Funeral of Dreams" is an exotic, nightmare procession, and the Duo adventurously blends experimental electronic textures with free percussion on "Pangea."
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