October 2007

International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $12 General Admission
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 8:00pm

Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra Sextet

Rob Mazurek, cornet + electronics
Nicole Mitchell, flutes
Matt Bauder, bass clarinet + tenor saxophone
Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone
Jason Ajemian, acoustic bass
Mike Reed, drums + percussion

"Somehow evocative of both Lalo Schifrin and Andrew Hill. Swirling action is [composer Rob Mazurek's] strong suit, even when the working conceit is a group improvisation against the recorded hum of electric eels...the orchestra itself demands a wide-angle focus. At times its multilayered sonic atmosphere suggests an expanded edition of the instrumental rock group Tortoise...a work of ambition, imagination and panache." -The New York Times

"Beautifully voiced and carefully calibrated....a concert that produced passages of exquisite instrumental sheen and deft sonic tone painting but also, for the most part, a surprisingly traditional chordal vocabulary...Mazurek clearly is onto something potentially important with this group, for he dares to offer a degree of expressive subtlety and instrumental detail one rarely encounters from ensembles this size." -Chicago Tribune

In 2005, cornetist Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground, Sao Paulo Underground, Mandarin Movie, Tigersmilk, etc.) was approached by The Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute to put together a group that would represent the more contemporary/avant-garde side of sound in Chicago for a concert in Millennium Park's Frank Gehry-designed concert hall. The music was conceptualized/composed in Manaus Brazil, Fontevraud, France and Chicago, and developed over more than a dozen performances of the Orchestra before it was recorded by John McEntire at his Soma Studio in Chicago. Making their NY debut, the phantasmagorical Exploding Star Orchestra Sextet, featuring Rob Mazurek (composer, cornet, electronics), Nicole Mitchell (flute), Matt Bauder (bass clarinet, tenor sax), Jason Ajemian (acoustic bass), Jason Adaseiwicz (vibraphone) and Mike Reed (drums, percussion, saw), harnesses the talents of this strong group of improvisers and soloists to create an organic sound that intends not to feature individual players, but is more about the projection of a certain sound pertaining to imagination and the trajectory of the sound as movement in time and space, weaving patterns and non-patterns around and inside the idea of a poem.

ESO's Thrill Jockey Records release, We Are All From Somewhere Else, is comprised of 3 distinct sections, and corresponds to a story involving an exploding star, cosmic transformation, a sting ray, the travels of the sting ray, intelligent conversations with electric eels, the destructive power of humans, the death and ascension of sting ray, the transformation of sting ray ghost to flying bird, and the transformation of bird to phoenix to rocket to flying burning matter to new-born star.