Nov 17 2014
Context can impart a lot of information… how a creative piece is viewed or heard and interpreted. It can color the initial interaction with that piece, either before or after the fact. Sometimes, though, the emotional honesty of a piece subsumes the context, to where what is felt eclipses what is thought. It’s like a mainline to another person’s beating heart. It’s an experience that is innate to art, yet rarely achieved so immensely as Rob Mazurek has on his newest release, Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost.
Mazurek is right up front that this piece was inspired by and dedicated to his mother, who passed away just last year. This music was composed in the aftermath of the loss. Then, music in hand, he headed down to Brazil, gathered up his São Paulo Underground unit and a few other musicians from the scene (thus forming the Black Cube SP), and recorded his four-part suite in a one day session, unedited, just letting the music flow.
This is as powerful as music gets. Thick waves of sonic dissonance come crashing down, leaving hard-charging grooves in its wake. Melodic fragments are shouted out, wailed, plaintively howled. The din is overwhelming, but never comes off as threatening. The music is intense, but never comes off as violent or aggressive. There are passages where spiritual jazz joins hands with a 70s trip-jazz-rock fusion, and it sounds like music from the past. There are passages that tremble and shake rhythmically like something that could only come from the present day. The music pulses and it drones and it chants and rises up like flame from a match. This is Mazrurek putting himself out there for all to see. More, perhaps, than he ever has before in his already impressive career.
It feels massively cathartic.
Your album personnel: Rob Mazurek (cornet, electronics, voice), Mauricio Takara (drums, cavaquinho, voice), Guilherme Granado (keyboards, synths, sampler, voice), Thomas Rohrer (rabeca, electronics, soprano saxophone, voice), Rogerio Martins (percussion, voice) and Rodrigo Brandão (voice).
Released on Cuneiform Records.
Beautiful album cover art by Damon Locks, layout by Sheila Sachs.