Stars Have Shapes

Stars Have Shapes

by Exploding Star Orchestra


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Stars Have Shapes

The Exploding Star Orchestra, a large group led by Chicago-based trumpeter and composer Rob Mazurek, is an improvising ensemble that shifts from project to project. The group's debut CD, We Are All from Somewhere Else, and its second release, co-credited to trumpeter Bill Dixon, offered both swirling storms of funky electronic jazz and music with orchestral scope and atmospheric beauty. On the latter album, Dixon's squiggly lines burst forth like Cy Twombly scribbling over a Mark Rothko painting. This disc, like We Are All from Somewhere Else, owes something to Sun Ra in its use of large ensembles for unorthodox purposes, but it takes a lot from other regions of the avant-garde, too, including the importation of non-musical sound effects (bicycles, insects, rain) and the use of specially prepared instruments. The Bill Dixon collaboration proved that Exploding Star could kick it live; this album displays their mastery of the studio. The difference is the difference between Miles Davis' 1975 live album Agharta and the slow-burning studio epic "He Loved Him Madly," recorded with almost the same band on Get Up with It. The two long tracks on Stars Have Shapes, "Ascension Ghost Impression No. 2" and "Three Blocks of Light," are deep, dark, resonant caves in which musicians and listeners wander and explore; the two short pieces, "ChromoRocker" and "Impression No. 1," offer more conventional free jazz grooves, at times sounding remarkably similar to Herbie Hancock's work with Mwandishi.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/2010
Label: Delmark
UPC: 0038153059521
catalogNumber: 595
Rank: 138523

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Exploding Star Orchestra   Primary Artist
Rob Mazurek   Cornet
John Herndon   Drums
Jeb Bishop   Trombone
Jeff Kowalkowski   Piano
Matt Bauder   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Nicole Mitchell   Flute,Voices
Carrie Biolo   Percussion,Gong,Temple Blocks
Jason Adasiewicz   Vibes
Jason Stein   Bass Clarinet
Matthew Lux   Bass Guitar
Greg Ward   Alto Saxophone
Joshua Abrams   Bass

Technical Credits

Robert G. Koester   Producer
Rob Mazurek   Composer,Director,Producer
Damon Locks   Liner Notes,Cover Art
Todd A. Carter   Engineer
Matthew Lux   Producer

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