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

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Travis & Fripp - Thread – Given the extensive musical resumes of Theo Travis and Robert Fripp, it was only a matter of synchronicity that would lead to a real time collaboration by these two innovators. Travis work with Cipher...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues