Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rob Mazurek & Sao Paulo Underground to Tour Europe in Spring 2014

Rob Mazurek's Brazilian-infused
Sao Paulo Undergroundstakes claim to Europe in spring 2014

After releasing two albums on Cuneiform in 2013 with Sao Paulo Underground & the Rob Mazurek Octet, Mazurek's post-modern/trans-American jazz power trio hits the road to ignite European festivals.

spu band
[credit: Jason Marck]


Sao Paulo Underground
May 2014 European Tour

May 16, 2014 - Vincenza, Italy

May 17, 2014 - Forli, Italy

May 18, 2014 - Foligno, Italy

May 20, 2014 - Schwaz, Austria

May 22, 2014 - Bergen, Norway

May 24, 2014 - Cerkno, Slovenia

May 25, 2014 - Wels, Austria

****



 Beija Flors Velho E Sujo
[Cuneiform, 2013]


"The Love I Feel For You Is More Real Than Ever" (mp3 download)
stream: @SOUNDCLOUD / @BANDCAMP / @YOUTUBE

"...the results are a mix of electric jazz, minimalism, and Brazilian samba, bossa nova, and street sounds. Percolating textures, crackling cornet (smacking of Miles Davis and Don Cherry), and surreal electronica process local riffs and rhythms for music that dances and frolics with all the joy and cheery chaos of a São Paulo street fair."- Icon "São Paulo Underground are one mind blowing group and the trio’s stature has risen yet another level with the release of their latest full length... This album is huge and one that I think will grab the ears of many different types of people. Tropicalia never sounded this modern and alive post 70s."
- Sound Colour Vibration

****

Tres Cabecas Loucuras
[Cuneiform 2011]


"Jagoda's Dream" (mp3 download)
stream: @SOUNDCLOUD / @BANDCAMP / @YOUTUBE

"Limitless in its possibilities." - Rolling Stone"Post digital, post industrial psychedelia."
- The Wire

"A modern approach to Brazil's tropicalia, that takes into account advances in sound manipulation and engineering. It is street music from the Brazilian subterranean avant-garde and it is confusingly wonderful." - All About Jazz"Rob Mazurek returns to Brazil and floats his cool blue cornet over a spellbinding collage of saturated textures, syncopated rhythms and sundry electronics."
- Time Out Chicago - Voted one of the Top 10 jazz albums of the year - 2011

"...the results are a mix of electric jazz, minimalism, and Brazilian samba, bossa nova, and street sounds. Percolating textures, crackling cornet (smacking of Miles Davis and Don Cherry), and surreal electronica process local riffs and rhythms for music that dances and frolics with all the joy and cheery chaos of a São Paulo street fair."
- Icon

"São Paulo Underground are one mind blowing group and the trio’s stature has risen yet another level with the release of their latest full length... This album is huge and one that I think will grab the ears of many different types of people. Tropicalia never sounded this modern and alive post 70s."
- Sound Colour Vibration



SPU live vid


Sao Paulo Underground Bio/CD Information


São Paulo Underground is an electronica-laced tropicalia funhouse, a secret passage between Chicago’s volatile avant garde jazz scene and Brazil’s teeming creative capital.

Featuring Chicago maestro Rob Mazurek on cornet, harmonium and various effects, and São Paulo’s Guilherme Granado on keyboards, synths, sampler and vocals, and Mauricio Takara on percussion, cavaquinho and electronics, SPU delivers its fourth revelatory album Beija Flors Velho E Sujo.

In its latest incarnation, SPU is a power trio and a post-modern orchestra rolled into one, marked by glistening sonic textures, seductive eletronica beats, unabashedly beautiful melodies, an expansive improvisational palette and fiercely gleeful interplay. A potent program of new material honed during a 2012 North American tour, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo captures an ensemble hitting a fierce creative stride.

Ecstatic, roiling and utterly unpredictable, the music flows from three distinct musical personalities united by “the idea of infinite love, the idea of breaking through to the other side through sonic power and beauty,” says Mazurek, a veteran disrupter of genre conventions. Rather than stretching out for extended improvisational flights, the trio delivers a series of brief blasts, each brimming with musical incident.

Dauntless sonic explorers, SPU continues a relentless search into the mysteries of sound. “Sound has such potential, and needs to be split, cracked, slammed, caressed, kissed, sunk, buried, catapulted into new dimensions in order to begin a dialogue of the universes,” Mazurek observes.

The São Paulo Underground sound dares you to define it, knowing that even when -- not if -- you fail to do so, you’ll still be so deliriously immersed in the group’s dizzying swirl of styles that you’ll simply be happy to surrender to its unnamable charms. Along the way, you’ll reach for such sonic signifiers as “jazz,” “Brazilian music,” “avant-garde,” and “electro-acoustic” in an attempt to tag Três Cabeças Loucuras, the ensemble’s third album and first for Cuneiform. Sure, when American cornetist Rob Mazurek gets together with his Brazilian buddies Guilherme Granado (keyboards, electronics), Mauricio Takara (drums, percussion, cavaquinho, electronics) and “fourth member” Richard Ribeiro (drums), all of the aforementioned flavors are on the musical menu, but ultimately, it’s best to just term the end result a kind of joyful “chef’s surprise” that gleefully upends expectations.

Each of the musicians is an example of the new vanguard in music; Rob in contemporary jazz and forward-looking rock and the 3 Brazilian musicians in updating and modernizing Brazilian musical forms. São Paulo Underground embodies a fascinating musical mixture of Sun Ra-esque cosmic noise and rhythms and phrasing from samba, maracatu, rock and free jazz traditions.

ROB MAZUREK
A force on Chicago’s singularly inventive sound scene for two decades, Mazurek is an intrepid sonic explorer eager to investigate new configurations. From his variable Chicago Underground units (duo, trio, quartet, and orchestra) to the Exploding Star Orchestra, Starlicker and the Pulsar Quartet, he’s mastered a protean approach in which his collaborators give substance to a composition’s form by creating layers of sound. After a fruitful eight-year sojourn in Brazil, he recently returned to Chicago, where he first gained notice as a visionary player and composer.

Born in 1965 in Jersey City, NJ, and raised in Naperville, about 30 miles west of Chicago, he studied at the Bloom School of Jazz in Chicago after high school, and by the early 1990s was performing around the UK with his hard bop quartet featuring drummer George Fludas, bassist Joh Webber, and pianist Randolph Tressler. Always looking for new musical directions, he launched the Chicago Underground workshop at Chicago’s storied jazz club The Green Mill in 1994. Eventually the workshop gave birth to the Chicago Underground Collective, an ensemble that recorded several albums for Delmark and Thrill Jockey records and featured many of the scene’s rising stars (including guitarist Jeff Parker).

MAURICIO TAKARA
Considered one of the leading voices in the new post-Tropicalia wave of Brazilian music, São Paulo native Mauricio Takara, has performed and recorded with a dazzling array of artists. From Brazil, key connections include Nacao Zumbi, Vanessa Da Mata, Sabotage, Naná Vasconcelos and Marcelo Camelo. On the international scene he’s allied with heavyweights such as Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, and Prefuse 73.

Besides Rob Mazurek’s São Paulo Underground, Takara has also worked with such other Chicago-connected projects and artists as Exploding Star Orchestra, Jason Adasiewicz, and John Herndon. Born in 1982, Takara started playing the acoustic guitar at the age of seven. Two years later, he took up drums. He played with local hardcore punk bands throughout the ‘90s and started Hurtmold in 1998, releasing five records on the Submarine label. He released the first of four solo albums for Desmonta Discos in 2003, including the latest, 2010’s Sobre Todas e Qualquer Coisa.

GUILHERME GRANADO
Guilherme Granado is in the vanguard of Brazil’s electronic spiritualism sound makers, devoted to promoting music, beats and ideas in Brazil. Also hailing from São Paulo, he is the bass synth motor for the São Paulo Underground. Proving the point that good bassists never lack for work, he’s been avidly sought after by a disparate array of artists, including Prefuse 73, Naná Vasconcelos, Tulipa, Pharoah Sanders, and Exploding Star Orchestra. Granado has also released three records under Bodes and Elefantes, his solo project, and is an integral member of the Brazilian Rock group Hurtmold.

For more information on Sao Paulo Underground, please see:
robmazurek.com | Cuneiform

***


Skull Sessions
[Cuneiform 2013]




"Galactic Ice Skeleton" (mp3 download)
stream: @SOUNDCLOUD / @BANDCAMP / @YOUTUBE

"Mazurek finds a challenge irresistible, and this is one of his most exciting projects"
- The Wire


A major force on Chicago’s singularly inventive music scene for two decades, cornetist Rob Mazurek has recorded with high profile artists such as Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, Stereolab, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and is an intrepid sound explorer.

Skull Sessions combines two of Rob's groups: Sao Paulo Underground and Starlicker with additional personnel. The band is an international cast of masters, including drummer John Herndon (of Tortoise), vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and flutist Nicole Mitchell, (both DownBeat poll winners on their respective instruments), Guilherme Granado on keyboards and electronics, Carlos Issa on guitar and electronics, Mauricio Takara on percussion and cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele), and Thomas Rohrer on C melody saxophone and rabeca (a rustic Brazilian viola associated with the northeast). The fusion of these musicians ignites a beautiful cosmic burst!

The big bang that led to Skull Sessions detonated when the We Want Miles exhibition at SESC Sao Paulo requested that Mazurek devise a presentation related to his deep affinity for the music of Miles Davis. In characteristic fashion, he decided against recreating any of Davis’s music, instead composing new pieces and rearranging earlier works for the Octet’s particular personalities and unusual timbres. The resulting album is a exploratory album that puts great musicians and compositions together and trusts in them enough to simply let them go!

For more information on the Rob Mazurek Octet, please see:

robmazurek.com | Cuneiform

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