21–22 April 2016
Very excited to present a two-day residency (the first London shows in a decde) from the great Chicago Underground Duo – the consistently astounding pairing of cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer/percussionist Chad Taylor.
“For over 17 years Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor have collaborated as the Chicago Underground Duo, a long-running partnership that has served as the core foundation for larger configurations of the group, including Trio, Quartet and Orchestra. The expansive nature of the ensemble's fluctuating personnel and the subsequent diversity of music produced has been a direct reflection of the founding members' varied interests and ensuing career paths.
Mazurek's reputation as a bold electro-acoustic sound sculptor is well established, but belies the fact that his fundamentals as a cornetist lie in traditional hard bop—a robust foundation for his increasingly adventurous approach towards composing and improvising. Taylor has also worked in scenes beyond jazz, most notably as a drummer for popular indie rock acts like Iron & Wine and Sam Prekop. Sharing a similarly probing aesthetic, Mazurek and Taylor disavow stylistic constraints, following their muse wherever it takes them.” – All About Jazz
Chicago-based composer, improviser and multi-media artist Rob Mazurek has drawn inspiration from a multitude of audio and visual styles and sources over the past three decades. Augmenting his cornet playing with computer programming, electronics and an assortment of keyboards, Mazurek's broad electro-acoustic palette defies simple categorization. Having relocated back to Chicago after an extended stay in São Paulo, Brazil, Mazurek currently leads and composes for a wide variety of ongoing ensembles, including the Chicago Underground Duo, Exploding Star Orchestra, São Paulo Underground, Pharoah & The Underground (featuring Pharoah Sanders), and most recently Black Cube SP.
Rob recently appeared on the cover of The Wire magazine and was voted MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR by Italy's top jazz magazine, Musica Jazz! He is constantly touring the world and is known as one of today's most intrepid and sought after sound explorers.
Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharaoh Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brötzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle Down which debut recording was given 5 star review by All Music.
“What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages.” – All Music
Alexander Hawkins is musician who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat).
As a pianist, he has been described as ‘remarkable...possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.’ Concerning his organ playing, critic Brian Morton recently commented that ‘[t]he most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more, [Hawkins] has already extended what can be done on the instrument.’
His writing has been said to represent ‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’ (Point of Departure), and his voice one of the ‘most vividly distinctive...in modern jazz’ (The Jazzmann).
An in-demand collaborator as well as soloist, composer, and bandleader, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Matana Roberts, and Shabaka Hutchings, amongst many others. He has also been noted for a number of years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo.
Concert appearances have taken him to major club, concert and festival stages worldwide.
“…Hawkins is a really vital link in a long historical chain, and his ability to sculpt his own language from a deeply rooted creative bedrock is compelling” - Jazzwise
“Sounds like all the future jazz you might imagine without ever being able to conceive of the details” - The Guardian
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment