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

2017-04-16
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

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Basilwink - Bipolar Bliss – Basilwink is a Milwaukee based project featuring Jeff Marcus (guitars, keyboards, bass, engineering), and Jim Bloedel (percussion, keyboards, loops and effects), and the disc at hand is their fourth...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues