Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP — Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost
(Cuneiform Rune 399, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-02-07Musicians 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.
Related artist(s): Rob Mazurek
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more