Stars Have Shapes
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Stars Have Shapes
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Jazz cornetist Rob Mazurek has created a sound world that is uniquely his own, sculpting a total sound environment, by fully utilizing the beautiful instrumentation of the Exploding Star Orchestra and sounds from a variety of sources, including: rain from the Brazilian Amazon, insects at the turn of an eclipse, the hammering overdrive of bicycles in Copenhagen, stacked muted cornets run through various filters, drones built from electric eels and piano feedback, hi-frequency sinuous lines from tone generators, pitched bass guitars, and other prepared instruments. With Nicole Mitchell, Jason Adasiewicz, Greg Ward, Josh Abrams, Mike Reed. Also on LP; CD has one extended track and one bonus track not on the LP.
...so thoroughly occupies its own space that you almost forget you're listening to a piece of music; you simply exist in its environment for a time. --Dusted Magazine
Not only does the album go through numerous stylistic shifts over the course of four tracks, but many of these genres lack a convenient name, making it a delight to the open-minded listener. --PopMatters
Top customer reviews
The personnel has stayed largely the same but there have been some changes so let's go through the lot:
Rob Mazurek: leader, composer, cornet and electro-acoustics constructions
Nicole Mitchell: flutes, voices
Matt Bauder: clarinet, tenor saxophone
Jeb Bishop: trombone
Jason Stein: bass clarinet
Greg Ward: alto saxophone
Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone
Matthew Lux: bass guitar
Josh Abrams: bass
John Herndon: drums
Mike Reed: drums
Damon Locks: word rocker
Carrie Biolo: gongs, vibes, assorted percussion
Jeff Kowalkowski: piano.
As always, I have to make an obligatory comment on how freakin' cool it is that Chicago has this huge, seemingly ever expanding musical community that loves to play on each other's projects. I have no idea how political or factional that community is. All I know is that they make a lot of really great music.
Speaking of which, this CD is the latest exemplar. Mazurek continues to wander around apparently recording odd noise samples (the liner notes mention Brazilian Amazon rain, bicycles in Copenhagen, stacked muted cornets that are filtered [I am guessing these appear around the five minute mark in Three Blocks of Light- if anyone knows for sure, I would love a guide to the electro-acoustic constructions]and, an old favorite also on the first CD, drones from electric eels).
Around these manipulated ambients sounds, Mazurek writes some marvelous compositions both from the point of view of the melodies and the orchestrations but also as showcases for the musicians. Everybody shines in this soundscape. Listen to Mitchell's piercing flute starting around the eight minute mark of Three Blocks or the way that Mitchell, Kowlakowski, Stein and Adasiewicz create a wonderful spiritual jazz feel to the opening section of Ascension Ghost Impressions #2. Evoking John, Pharoah and Albert without imitating them.
This is a composer and a band on the rise. For me this is the best of all formats for Mazurek- in this band he has found his Muse. I will only say what I said on reviewing the first CD from the Exploding Star Orchestra. Let us hope they keep going for what they do is unique and beautiful.