Exposé Online banner

Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra — Galactic Parables: Volume 1
(Cuneiform Rune 409, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-09-21

Galactic Parables: Volume 1 Cover art

With Galactic Parables: Volume 1, Rob Mazurek shows that he truly has earned a place in the ranks of the masters of large ensemble, high concept art jazz, that realm inhabited by George Russell, Sun Ra, Wadada Leo Smith, and a few others. The first CD features a ten-piece group recorded live in Sardegna, Italy in August 2013; the second has eight players (one one of whom wasn’t on the Italian set) at a concert in Chicago in October 2013. Interestingly, the same compositions feature in both sets, though in different arrangements: for example, “Free Agents of Sound” comes in over 20 minutes in Italy, and only 11:27 in Chicago. This serves to highlight how loosely structured Mazurek’s pieces are, with lots of room to wander as things happen. The vocal bits (spoken, sampled, manipulated) are only partly the same between the two versions, and there are some chordal and melodic fragments that appear in both, but the solos are different, with the piano and drum solos omitted from the shorter version, though the guitar solo is longer. Other pieces have similar variations. The musicians in common between the two dates are Mazurek (cornet, electronics), Damon Locks (text, voice, electronics), Angelica Sanchez (piano), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums), Matthew Bauder (tenor sax, clarinet), and Matthew Lux (bass guitar); the Italian show adds Chad Taylor (drums), Guilherme Granado (keyboard, samplers, synth, voice), and Mauricio Takara (cavaquinho, electronics, percussion); the Chicago show adds Nicole Mitchell (flute, voice). As you can tell from the instrumentation, this is not traditional jazz in any way. It is, however, exactly what I think jazz should be – adventurous, improvisatory, bringing together sounds spontaneously, free-spirited, unpredictable.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Rob Mazurek

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
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

2017-05-05
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

2017-05-02
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

2017-04-16
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


Previously in Exposé...

Ancient Curse - The Landing – The strains of an acoustic guitar, a soft vocal, then comes the barrage. If I were to contain this review to only word, it would be: Metallica. Ancient Curse do not appear to make any claims at...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues