Rob Mazurek's Black Cube SP, Sao Paulo Underground | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
Rob Mazurek

Rob Mazurek

Guido Gazzilli

Rob Mazurek's Black Cube SP, Sao Paulo Underground 

When: Fri., April 17, 9:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $20, $15 in advance
For years cornetist, composer, and bandleader Rob Mazurek has deployed a kind of modular approach, enlisting a pool of collaborators that expands and contracts depending on the context in which he operates. But regardless of the number of players churning it out, the work never diminishes in sonic density. Tonight’s concert focuses on Mazurek’s ties to Brazil, where he spent eight years living off and on before settling back in Chicago full-time in 2008. He started his trio Sao Paulo Underground a decade ago, and its current lineup, with keyboardist Guilherme Granado and percussionist and cavaquinho player Mauricio Takara, has been on a serious roll over the last few years. The threesome’s latest album, 2013’s Beija Flors Velho e Sujo (Cuneiform), layers terse melodic phrases, woozy electronic textures, and high-flying, post-Don Cherry horn lines over sturdy, foundation-shaking grooves—maybe derived from syntax-crushing hip-hop or from hijacked maracatu rhythms. That doesn’t stop the group from delivering a sincere reading of Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” and reveling in the triumphant, hooky tunefulness of “The Love I Feel for You Is More Real Than Ever.” Granado and Takara also turn up on last year’s Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost (Cuneiform), an album Mazurek wrote and recorded in the weeks after his mother died suddenly from cancer. Enhanced by the participation of saxophonist and rabeca player Thomas Rohrer, percussionist Rogerio Martins, and vocalist Rodrigo Brandão, the four lengthy, cathartic pieces offer a mixture of churning meditation, roiling grooves, and ecstatic voicings at a crushing volume, and they largely succeed as spiritual responses to her passing. I might quibble with the backwards-tape rhythms on “Let the Rain Fall Upwards,” which could work as a conceptual move but become grating after 18 minutes; otherwise these ultrasaturated soundscapes hit hard. Rohrer joins the core trio for the headlining set under the moniker Rob Mazurek’s Black Cube SP. —Peter Margasak
Buy Tickets



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a review

Roll over stars and click to rate.

Search Events…