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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sensitiva Immagine - E Tutto Comincio Cosi... – Here is one that Edison Records (RIP) of Japan spared no laudatory word on when it was first reissued by them back in the early 90s. Marquee's encyclopedia claims its origins as a cassette release...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues