Exposé Online banner

Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP — Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost
(Cuneiform Rune 399, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-02-07

Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost Cover artMusicians often use their art as a way to process the events of their lives, to turn hardship and pain (as well as joy and hope and love) into something beautiful, or at least useful, in dealing with what the world throws at us. As listeners, we may be aware of the happenings that generated the art, or we may not — either way, we can partake in the product of those emotions, bringing to our processing all the events of our own lives, which may be radically different than the artist's. Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek wrote and recorded this music in response to his mother's death, and he regards it as "modern spiritual" music, infused with a spirit rather like a ritual of passing, and even listeners who are unaware of the music's genesis should be able to feel the intensity, converting it into whatever kind of ritual is needed in their own lives. This ritual is expansively eclectic, melding ancient Brazilian instruments with electonics, and is infused with what I think of as the true spirit of jazz: seeking out sounds that come from one mind and can touch others, drawing from a well of creativity comprised of both planning and spontaneity. Miles Davis's electric music may have been constructed artificially by assembling recordings into pieces; Mazurek's music in some ways achieves similar results by ways of live playing, with the kinds of electronics that are available today substituting for the editing of yesteryear. Black Cube SP features drummer Mauricio Takara and keyboardist Guihelrme Granado (both of whom have worked with Mazurek in São Paulo Underground), along with Thomas Rohrer, Rogério Martins, and Rodrigo Brandão, who contribute a wide variety of instruments to the mix, along with vocals. The electronics take the music into seldom-charted (at least in jazz) realms of sound, where distortion and feedback vie with expansive resonance and reverberation to bring the natural and the artificial into accord. Come, ye explorers, and pierce the veil between worlds.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Rob Mazurek

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - Recollection Harvest – I have a dilemma about this CD. The band claims it’s actually two albums: the relatively heavy Recollection Harvest and the mellower Indian Summer. On one hand, this absolves them of the criticism...  (2006) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues