Friday, August 16, 2013

Rob Mazurek, Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble, The Space Between

Having followed the doings of Rob Mazurek for some time now, I can say with confidence that he is pretty near fearless in what he dares to do. Innovation in today's musical world takes that. To be at the edge of what it is "permissible" to combine, to take it beyond what we are supposed to be doing, to put things together according to your own muse and not somebody else's set of musical "laws," it takes courage. And then, of course, it all has to work or it doesn't mean a thing (and it may or may not have that swing...that's up to the artist).

This seems very true to me with his recent recording by the Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble, The Space Between (Delmark 5007). It's a large group that includes Rob on cornet and electronics (also the composition and the recitation text), Nicole Mitchell on flute, Matt Bauder on electronics, Todd Carter, electronics and engineering, and a host of others.

There is a DVD that supplements the CD in the packet, with the music plus coordinated video art by Marianne M. Kim. She gives us a stunning analog to the music, a fully integrated visual world of avant abstractions, visual collaging, bodily movement, color and line.

The music itself would be sufficient to wake you up . . . . It provides a maelstrom of acoustic, electronically generated and electronically transformed sounds that swirl around some excellent horn work by Rob and flute by Nicole. It is a complex, exciting soup of many ingredients, but most importantly it really does hang together as a large-scale musical statement.

For the avant scene, this is breakthrough music. This is art. And that's way more than you often find out there today. Jazz police, you have been warned. Artists must be free to be free! Rob is free. Really free. And really good at what he's is doing. Without fear.

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