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Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra

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Audio CD, February 5, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B0010B0BZW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,773 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Entrances/One - Bill Dixon With Exploding Star Orchestra
2. Constellations For Innerlight Projections (For Bill Dixon) - Bill Dixon With Exploding Star Orchestra
3. Entrances/Two - Bill Dixon With Exploding Star Orchestra

Editorial Reviews

Rob Mazurek (cornet) is a prime figure in the vibrant Chicago sound scene, having performed in Chicago Underground, Isotope 217, and Mandarin Movie. Exploding Star Orchestra is his latest project. This is the group's second album and the first to feature free jazz legend Bill Dixon (trumpet), whose career has spanned over 40 years. He's played with the likes of Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, and William Parker. Also featured are John Herndon and Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Nicole Mitchell (Frequency), Matthew Lux (Isotope 217), Damon Locks (The Eternals), and many of Chicago's most exciting improvisers.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By greg taylor VINE VOICE on February 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I stated in my review of the first Exploding Star Orchestra CD that it did not really strike me as free jazz big band music. It struck me as a very creative and diverse largely composed through music. This CD however seems freer in its approach. Some of that can be attributed to Mazurek's dedication of this CD to an musician/magician he obviously admires, Bill Dixon. Dixon composed the first and third piece and is the dedicatee of the second piece, a composition by Mazurek. Dixon is perhaps the dominant solo voice as well.
The result is another superb contribution to creative orchestra music by Mazurek and his associates, all of whom deserve to be acknowledged:
Nicole Mitchell (flutes, voice)
Matt Bauder (bass clarinet, tenor sax)
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Josh Berman (cornet)
Jeff Parker (guitar)
Jim Baker (piano)
Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone, tubular bells)
Matthew Lux (bass guitar)
Jason Ajemian (double bass)
Mike Reed (drums, timpani)
John Herndon (drums)
Damon Locks (voice)
Let me be clear about something- this is not totally free music. Both Dixon and Mazurek provide the ensemble with a complex shifting and sectional composed framework. It is just that the individual players play more freely than on the first CD. The sound samples that Amazon provides are useless for music like this (although the beginning of Entrances/One with the double drums of Herndon and Reed, combined w/Adasiewicz' vibes and Parker's brilliant stumbling guitar gives you a nice feel for what may lie ahead).
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Cooper on April 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I had high hopes for this CD after enjoying Rob Mazurek's first Exploding Star Orchestra CD. Everyone on this CD was on the first - Nicole Mitchell on flute, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jeff Parker on guitar, and nine others. The big exception is of Bill Dixon, who gets a leader credit on this CD. Bill Dixon is a noteworthy free jazz trumpet player. The first song, "Entrances/One" is very free. It doesn't have much of a pulse, and not too much melody. The second song is composed by Mazurek. The composed parts of it tie the song together better. The CD closes with "Entrances/Two", which has more of a pulse than the first one, but ultimately they're both a bit of a disappointment.

Everyone's reaction will depend on their love for the spacier parts of free jazz. From random Bill Dixon songs I've heard, this seems to be more in line with his work than a continuation of the Exploding Star Orchestra.

P.S. I meant to mark it as a 3-star CD, but accidentally hit 4, and you're not allowed to change your star rating.
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