Friday, September 30, 2016

Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now (2016) MOTÉMA MUSIC

Deeply influenced by the extraordinary experience of collaborating with David Bowie on his final release, 'Blackstar', Donny McCaslin steps forward with 'Beyond Now'. 

Recorded a few months after Bowie's passing, it is a heartfelt dedication to the Starman. Alongside Bowie's 'Last Band' (Jason Lindner, Mark Guiliana, Tim Lefebvre and McCaslin himself), Donny reimagines two Bowie songs, tracks by Deadmau5 and MUTEMATH, plus powerful originals, displaying the rich musicality and innovation that originally led to him working with one of the most creative artists of all time.

"It was like a dream except it was something I never could have dreamed of," reflects McCaslin on working with Bowie. "David Bowie was a visionary artist whose generosity, creative spirit and fearlessness will stay with me the rest of my days. 'Beyond Now' is dedicated to him and to all who loved him."

Comprised of core 'Blackstar' personnel, bassist Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Saturday Night Live), drummer Mark Guiliana (Me'shell Ndegeocello, Brad Mehldau) and Jason Lindner (Now Vs Now), along with guitarist Nate Wood and producer David Binney, 'Beyond Now' is comprised of two Bowie songs, covers of Deadmau5 and MUTEMATH as well as compelling McCaslin originals that include the title composition, inspired by a track inspired by a song McCaslin recorded for 'Blackstar' that didn't make the album.

With three GRAMMY nominations and 11 albums to his name, McCaslin's path to Bowie and 'Beyond Now' can be traced back to 2011 and the release of his album 'Perpetual Motion', taking on an electric direction for the first time in contrast to his previous acoustic projects. Two subsequent albums 'Casting for Gravity' (2012) and 'Fast Future' (2015) released with his working band were directly influenced by electronica artists (covering groups such as Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, and Baths), which netted McCaslin a 2013 GRAMMY nomination for 'Best Improvised Jazz Solo'.

The (as it turned out) once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Bowie came after composer Maria Schneider, a longtime collaborator, recommended McCaslin and his group to Bowie. Schneider and Bowie were collaborating on the track 'Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)', which featured McCaslin as a soloist. In June 2014, Bowie heeded Schneider's advice and made a visit to hear McCaslin and co at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. Soon after, Bowie began corresponding with McCaslin over email and sending music, forming a new collaboration and friendship that transpired through the recording of 'Blackstar' until Bowie's passing. The result is 'Beyond Now', which documents the 'Last Band' as they were processing both their grief and Bowie's distinctive impact.

"This new album is an expression of that journey for all of us," says McCaslin. "David allowed 'Blackstar' to be what it was going to be regardless of how people might have categorised it. More than anything, it was his fearlessness in crossing musical boundaries and genres in his music and life that inspired the risks I'm taking in 'Beyond Now'. I am indebted to Bowie for showing me the risks and rewards of going for your uncompromising musical vision."

1 Shake Loose
2 A Small Plot of Land
3 Beyond Now
4 Coelacanth 1
5 Bright Abyss
6 Faceplant
7 Warszawa
8 Glory
9 Remain

Donny McCaslin, tenor sax
Jason Lindner, piano
Tim Lefebvre, bass
Mark Guiliana, drums

George Cables - The George Cables Songbook (2016) HighNote Records

When George Cables was going to school in New York City he used to walk the streets at night, taking in the cosmopolitan sights and sounds, mentally recording his encounters with "so many different kinds of people." In his musical career as well, Cables has prowled sidestreets and main thoroughfares in relative anonymity, absorbing countless influences into his personal style. 

Born in New York City on November 14, 1944, Cables was classically trained as a youth and when he started at the "Fame" worthy High School of Performing Arts, he admittedly "didn't know anything about jazz." But he was soon smitten with the potential for freedom of expression he heard in jazz.

The young Cables was impressed by such keyboardists as Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. But, he points out, "I never really listened to pianists when I was coming up. I would probably say I've been more influenced by Miles or Trane and their whole bands rather than by any single pianist. The concept of the music is more important than listening to somebody's chops, somebody's technique, The Way Miles' band held together, it was just like magic. You were transported to another world." 

Cables attended Mannes College of Music for two years and by 1964 he was playing in a band called The Jazz Samaritans which included such rising stars as Billy Cobham, Lenny White. and Clint Houston. Gigs around New York at the Top of the Gate, Slugs, and other clubs attracted attention to Cables' versatility and before long he had recorded with tenor saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, played on Max Roach's "Lift Every Voice and Sing," and earned a brief 1969 tenure at the piano bench with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

A 1969 tour with tenor titan Sonny Rollins took Cables to the West Coast. By 1971 he became a significant figure in the jazz scenes of Los Angeles, where he first resided, and San Francisco, where he also lived. Collaborations and recordings with tenor saxophonists Joe Henderson and Sonny Rollins ("Next Album:), trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw ("Blackstone Legacy"), and vibist Bobby Hutcberson made Cables' wide-ranging keyboard skills, often on electric piano, amply evident. Demand for his sensitive accompaniment increased and by the end of the 1970s, Cables was garnering a reputation as everyone's favorite sideman.

Perhaps the most pivotal turn came when hard-bop legend Dexter Gordon invited Cables into his quartet in 1977. The two years he spent with the reappreciated tenor giant ignited Cables's passion for the acoustic piano and rimmersed him in the bebop vocabulary. "I don't feel that one should be stuck in the mud playing the same old stuff all the time, trying to prove that this music is valid," Cables says. "We don't need to prove anything. But I think you really have to be responsive to your heritage and then go on and find your own voice."

The longest standing relationship Cables developed in the late seventies was with alto saxophonist Art Pepper. Cables, who Pepper called "Mr. Beautiful," became Art's favorite pianist, appearing on many quartet dates for Contemporary and Galaxy, and joining Art for the extraordinary duet album, Goin' Home, that would be Pepper's final recording session. "I've been able to play with some of the greatest musicians in the world," Cables says, ..but it's funny, if you're not seen as a bandleader, doing the same thing alot of times, it's easy to wonder, `Well, who are you really? What do you really feel?' And sometimes I have to ask myself that, because every time I play with somebody different I have to put on a different hat."

He has performed and recorded with some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time, including: Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Dizzy Gillespie.

George Cables has emerged as a major voice in modern jazz. He is currenuy performing and recording as a soloist, with trio and larger ensembles, and as a clinician in college jazz programs. In addition to composing and arranging for his own albums, George Cables has contributed to recordings by Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson and many others. He is noted for his fresh Interpretations of classic compositions and for his innovative style of writing.

01. Traveling Lady
02. AKA Reggie
03. The Dark The Light
04. For Honey Lulu
05. Melodious Funk
06. Face the Consequences
07. Colors of Light
08. Think On Me
09. The Mystery of Monifa Brown
10. Baby Steps
11. Suite for Sweet Rita

Dewa Budjana - Zentuary (2016) 2 CD

DEWA BUDJANA "Zentuary" (2 CD) 

New studio album (double cd) by the iconic Balinese guitarist Dewa Budjana, featuring TONY LEVIN, GARY HUSBAND, JACK DEJOHNETTE with special guests TIM GARLAND, DANNY MARKOVICH, GUTHRIE GOVAN, SAAT SYAH, UBIET, RISA SARASWATI, CZECH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. 

All Compositions by Dewa Budjana. 
Produced by Dewa Budjana for Museum Gitarku Bali. 
Associated producer Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Music/MoonJune Asia. 
Executive producer Bagus WIjaya Santosa. 

Indonesian guitar legend, Dewa Budjana is offering his most ambitious album to date, "Zentuary." Supported by an all-star cast of enormous proportions -- including jazz legend, Jack DeJohnette (over forty years on the ECM label), the iconic progressive bass and stickman, Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel; King Crimson), and the extraordinary superstar sideman talents of Britain's Gary Husband (Allan Holdsworth; John McLaughlin) -- Budjana offers a profusion of cross-cultural delicacies which tease, cajole, enthrall and, ultimately, satisfy listeners. Special guests include guitarist Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats; Steven Wilson, Tim Garland (Chick Corea; Bill Bruford) and Danny Markovich (Marbin). 

A veteran player whose career has already been marked by collaborations with a virtual "who's who" of musical luminaries, Budjana still manages to raise the stakes and elevate the level of his game on his fifth solo album. 

Aside from his renowned skills on guitar, Zentuary documents Budjana's position as one of the genre's most prolific, accomplished composers and arrangers. The music on this 2-CD set is a magnanimous affair, where its highly skilled participants are given ample space to create and express. The net result is a soaring, synergistic mélange of brilliant, articulate instrumental progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion and world music.

Releases October 14, 2016 

DEWA BUDJANA all guitars, soundscapes 
TONY LEVIN electric upright NS Design bass (all tunes; except 6 on Disk One and 6 on Disk Two), Chapman Stick (tune 6 on Disk One) 
GARY HUSBAND drums (tunes 1, 2, 4 & 6 on Disk One; 1, 4 & 5 on Disk Two), keyboards & acoustic piano (all tunes; except 5 & 6 on Disk Two) 
JACK DEJOHNETTE drums (tunes 3 & 5 on Disk One; 2 & 3 on Disk Two), acoustic piano (tune 5 on Disk 2) 
DANNY MARKOVICH curved soprano sax (tune 2 on Disk One; 4 on Disk Two) • TIM GARLAND tenor sax (tune 2 on Disk Two) 
GUTHRIE GOVAN guitar solo (tune 4 on Disk One) • SAAT SYAH custom made Indonesian suling flute (tune 6 on Disk One; 3 on Disk 2) 
UBIET vocals (tune 3 on Disk One) • RISA SARASWATI vocals (tune 6 on Disk One) 
CZECH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by Michaela Růžičková (tune 4 on DIsk One; 6 on Disk Two) 

2 CD version:

Disk 1: Tracks 1-6: Disk 2: Tracks 6-12

All tracks composed, arranged and produced by Dewa Budjana (except track 6 on Disk One, composed by Markus Reuter & Tony Levin). 
Tony Levin's lyrics (track 6 on Disk One) translated from English to Sundanese by Risa Saraswati. 

Recorded by Matthew Cullen at Dreamland Recording Studio, West Hurley / Woodstock, NY, January 19 & 20, 2015, except sax overdubs by Danny Markovich (Chicago) and Tim Garland (London), post-production keyboards overdubs by Gary Husband (London), guitar solo by Guthrie Govan (London), vocals by Ubiet (Jakarta) and Risa Saraswati (Bandung), and Czech Symphony Orchestra (Prague). Suling flute by Saat Syah and additional post-production and soundscapes by Dewa Budjana were recorded at Temple Island Studio in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Executive Producer IGN Bagus Wijaya Santosa for Museum Gitarku, Ubud Bali, Indonesia. 

Mixed/ Mastered by: Robert Feist, Ravenswork Studio, Ojai, CA, between March and April 2016. 

Cover artwork by Aga Dilaga. Photos of musicians by Scott Forman, John McGuire, Tony Levin, Leonardo Pavkovic. 

International management by Leonardo Pavkovic, MoonJune Music, 

Indonesian management, press and publicity coordination by Joe Mailuhu on behalf of Dewa Budjana & MoonJune Asia, 

Disc: 1
01. Dancing Tears
02. Solas PM
03. Lake Takengon
04. Suniakala
05. Dear Yulman
06. Rerengat Langit (Crack In the Sky)

Disc: 2
01. Pancaroba
02. Manhattan Temple
03. Dedariku
04. Ujung Galuh
05. Uncle Jack
06. Zentuary

Tomasz Dąbrowski - S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday / 30 Concerts / 30 Cities (2016) BAREFOOT RECORDS

S-O-L-O: “30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities” is Tomasz Dąbrowski’s seventh album as a leader and his first solo recording. This album is the culmination of a series of solo concerts celebrating his 30th birthday performed in 30 cities in 12 different countries over almost seven months, plus three formal recording sessions held in various locations around Copenhagen. The album is made up of 10 songs intended to represent 10 chapters of one story.

This is music inspired by sumi-e, the Japanese ink and wash painting technique. Its goal is not simply to reproduce the appearance of an object, but to capture its essence. Like a sumi-e artist, painting with one stroke without removing the brush from the canvas, Dąbrowski translates this idea into music, telling the story with only one instrument. He takes the listener to his very private world, encompassing previous experiences and his contemporary musical inspirations.

Playing solo is most definitely the most challenging setting I could think of. I decided to give myself a present and celebrate my ‘getting older’ state of mind, with 30 solo concerts in 30 cities in various countries. There were no other musicians on the bandstand, no electronics or amps, only the trumpet and the mutes. It’s just me dealing with myself, ideas, directions and doubts.”

A documentary film S-O-L-O: “30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities” is directed by Kristoffer Juel – the winner of the Award of Excellence, Multimedia Issue Reporting Story, 73rd annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi). The movie includes interviews, footage from the recording sessions and the concerts. It will be available online along with the album.

01 Part I
02 Part II
03 Part III
04 Part IV
05 Part V
06 Part VI
07 Part VII
08 Part VIII
09 Part IX
10 Part X

Tomasz Dabrowski: trumpet and mutes

All music is written by Tomasz Dąbrowski / KODA 
Recorded at Mariendal Kirke, Copenhagen, June 2015 
Recorded, mixed and mastered by John Fomsgaard 
Cover art / design: Paulina Białkowska

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stuart McCallum & Mike Walker: The Space Between - NEW RELEASE 2016 (EDITION RECORDS)


The Space Between

STUART McCALLUM acoustic guitar and electronics
MIKE WALKER electric guitar

The first 50 copies will be signed

The Space Between is the second album by long-term friends & guitarists Stuart McCallum and Mike Walker. Following 2014’s self-produced Beholden, The Space Between is an album that expresses McCallum and Walker’s abiding love of melody and space, their friendship and respect, and the multifarious sounds and timbres that their instrument has to offer.

Beholden featured spacious reinterpretations of the guitarists’ compositions and jazz standards; the music was serene and elevated. The Space Between finds Stuart and Mike developing extra gravitas, focussing on McCallum originals written especially for the duo. In addition they include two exquisitely chosen standards: Bacharach & David’s Alfie and My Ideal, also covered by Sonny Rollins, that sit perfectly in the set, balancing the flow.

Fabrice Martinez Chut ! - Rebirth (2016)

par Anne Yven /

Précédé par les mises en lumière des projets auxquels ce musicien coloriste apporte sa palette d’émotions dans des explosions lyriques remarquables, le troisième album de Chut ! était attendu. Après avoir été l’un des disques remarqués du label Sans bruit en 2011, le quartet signe une production de 50 minutes qui réserve de belles surprises.

C’est aujourd’hui sur le label ONJ Records que ce Rebirth, regarde l’avenir droit dans les yeux. Fabrice Martinez y campe pleinement son rôle de « patron » (à sa façon, c’est-à-dire sans en faire trop) et ses acolytes, trois personnalités affirmées, prouvent ici leur valeur par leur malléabilité. Une écoute longue durée m’amène enfin à l’heure du verdict, éclairé – quelle chance – par une discussion émaillée de confidences de la part du trompettiste de l’ONJ, à qui la re(con)naissance va bien. Martinez a choisi une ambiance vintage pour nous recevoir chez lui. Distorsion, groove et basse funky marquant le fond du temps, effets fuzz « vintage », tout nous promet un retour vers le futur brillant comme une DeLorean sortie du garage.

On s’assoit confortablement dans le fauteuil mais on sursaute dès les premières notes du titre éponyme. « Rebirth » démarre non en fanfare mais avec un prog-rock lourd, dans lequel la basse abrasive achèvera de prouver la force de Bruno Chevillon, qui s’en tient d’ailleurs à l’électrique sur tout le disque. Couplée à la partition métronomique puissante de son complice de vingt ans, Eric Echampard, la formule fait mouche et fonce droit dans le mur (du son !), même allégée par les orgues seventies de Fred Escoffier (vieux complice de Martinez cette fois). On peine à croire que ces quatre-là ne se soient pas trouvés plus tôt, tant leur vision d’un jazz rock revival semble aller à l’unisson. Une ouverture aussi étrange que peu représentative des myriades de traversées tout en douceur, que nous réserve le voyage. La pochette signée Edward Perraud, un brouillard de lumière façon William Turner, présage que rien ici ne va se dévoiler trop vite.

C’est d’ailleurs au volant, au cours d’une écoute la nuit, traversant une ville endormie, que le potentiel dramatique et poétique des deux titres suivants m’a saisie. « Transe », chevauchée de huit minutes, dans laquelle le duo Martinez-Escoffier s’adjoint les services du guitariste Stéphane Bartelt, et « Smity », un hommage en creux à Marvin Smith, batteur de Dave Holland qui affectionnait autant le jazz, le rock que le funk, font décupler le pouvoir d’évocation du jeu de Martinez. Toutes les histoires et projections sont permises sur cet écran à ciel ouvert. Cool et très « Miles », en ce sens.

Car dès l’introduction de « Derrière la colline », le doute n’est plus permis. C’est bien la mélodie du bugle qui impulse les changements harmoniques, les variations d’accords des trois autres. Le solo du soufflant se déploie dans le temps et le marque également. La marque d’un grand. Martinez joue fort, et les trois autres se prennent au jeu. Il suffit d’écouter le morceau s’emballer, la batterie d’Echampard cavalcader, pour s’en convaincre. L’un des sommets de l’album.

Cette cohésion est le fruit d’un travail mûri. La méthode appliquée dans les Studios Ferber, où il a été fabriqué, a été de faire naître ces titres en prenant le temps, à quatre, à l’ancienne, en les enregistrant ensemble dans une même pièce, sans quasiment aucun recours au montage et au re-recording. La réussite de la renaissance, ou de la « Re-re »naissance de ce quartet, après le départ de son premier bassiste, Fred Pallem, en dépendait.

Finalement, la grande force de l’album se trouve en avançant un peu plus, dans les interstices, les décalages et les moments doux-amers qui résident dans l’expressivité du jeu du trompettiste. Malgré le bonheur palpable qu’elle véhicule, cette musique cache aussi son lot de douleurs (écoutez la fin de « P and T ») et de désarmement. L’album se termine sur « Prune », chargé de déflagrations d’où naît une radieuse accalmie, celle d’un dernier duo Martinez et Escoffier, ici au piano, jamais plus beau que dans l’épure.

Rebirth et ses chants resteront lovés tout l’été, dans nos tympans, sacrés. Ils démontreront toutes les possibilités de la musique d’un quartet bien campé sur ses bases pour le grand saut, l’envol.

Miguel Ângelo Quarteto - A Vida de X (2016) PORTA-JAZZ

Depois de ter lançado "BRANCO (carimbo porta-jazz)" em 2013, o seu álbum de estreia como líder e compositor, o contrabaixista Miguel Ângelo promove o seu segundo trabalho "A VIDA DE X (carimbo jazz)" em 2016, mantendo a formação em quarteto com os seus habituais companheiros: João Guimarães, Joaquim Rodrigues e Marcos Cavaleiro. 

O segundo álbum "A VIDA DE X" é constituído por dez composições inspiradas em personagens fictícias ou em histórias imaginárias ou reais a que o quarteto deu vida e espera que cada ouvinte crie a sua própria visão e, desta forma, ganhe uma nova vida. 

"A VIDA DE X" não é uma simples vida, é um emaranhado delas!...

After having launched "BRANCO (Carimbo Portajazz)" in 2013, his debut album as a leader and composer, bassist Miguel Ângelo promotes his second "A VIDA DE X (Carimbo Portajazz)" in 2016, keeping the formation in quartet with their usual companions: João Guimarães, Joaquim Rodrigues and Marcos Cavaleiro. 

The second album "A VIDA DE X" consists of ten compositions inspired by fictional characters or imaginary or real stories that the quartet gave life and hopes that each listener create his own vision and this way, X gets a new life. 

"A VIDA DE X" is not a simple life is a tangle of them! ...

01. Missão ao Planeta RJ45 07:04
02. O0 05:56
03. Feriró & Putchin 05:21
04. Unveil 06:50
05. A Vida de X 04:28
06. Pop & Lume 07:34
07. Cinzento 08:15
08. 1 de Abril 04:43
09. Qualquer Coisa 09:09
10. E Viveram Separados Para Sempre... 06:52

Joăo Guimarăes - Saxofone 
Joaquim Rodrigues - Piano 
Marcos Cavaleiro - Bateria (Drums)

BandCamp  |  CDBaby  |  ITunes  |  Amazon  |  Google Music

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

São Paulo Underground - Cantos Invisíveis (CUNEIFORM RECORDS) 2016

Brazilian/American Trio São Paulo Underground
Expands Psycho-Tropicalia into New Dimensions on Cantos Invisíveis,
a Global Tapestry that Transcends Place & Time


“A visionary jazz-rock trio.”
- The New York Times

“Limitless in its possibilities.”
- Rolling Stone

“A modern approach to Brazil's Tropicália, 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

“The Post-Don Cherry melodic splendor of Chicago cornetist Rob Mazurek has never been clearer, and it finds a simpatico home amid the polyrhythmic chaos forged by his Brazilian cohorts. This high-energy romp takes the sting out of the term fusion in the best possible way.”
- DownBeat

Cantos Invisíveis is a wondrous album, a startling slab of 21st century trans-global music that mesmerizes, exhilarates and transports the listener to surreal dreamlands astride the equator. Never before has the fearless post-jazz, trans-continental trio São Paulo Underground sounded more confident than here on their fifth album and third release for Cuneiform. Weaving together a borderless electro-acoustic tapestry of North and South American, African and Asian, traditional folk and modern jazz, rock and electronica, the trio create music at once intimate and universal. 

On Cantos Invisíveis, nine tracks celebrate humanity by evoking lost haunts, enduring love, and the sheer delirious joy of making music together. São Paulo Underground fully manifests its expansive vision of a universal global music, one that blurs edges, transcends genres, defies national and temporal borders, and embraces humankind in its myriad physical and spiritual dimensions.

Featuring three multi-instrumentalists, São Paulo Underground is the creation of Chicago-reared polymath Rob Mazurek (cornet, Mellotron, modular synthesizer, Moog Paraphonic, OP-1, percussion and voice) and two Brazilian masters of modern psycho- Tropicalia -- Mauricio Takara (drums, cavaquinho, electronics, Moog Werkstatt, percussion and voice) and Guilherme Granado (keyboards, synthesizers, sampler, percussion and voice). They’re joined on several tracks by Swiss-born, São Paulo resident Thomas Rohrer (rabeca, flutes, soprano saxophone, electronics, percussion and voice), who made a memorable contribution to Mazurek’s Black Cube SP on the transcendent 2014 Cuneiform release Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost. Together, these singular and wildly imaginative sonic explorers create music unlike any other ensemble.

In many ways the music on Cantos Invisíveis is a celebration of camaraderie and the spaces that allow love and friendship to unfurl.

Alchemical aural conspirators for over a decade, the group has developed its own approach to structure, with slippery forms, unabashedly beautiful melodies and lapidary textures laced with disquieting electronica beats and stutter-stepping improvisation.

Rather than evoke a particular time and place, the music inhabits multiple planes simultaneously as “a projection of sound that celebrates as well as mourns past, present and future times,” Mazurek says. “The vocal quality of this particular music shouts and hollers for love and compassion, the joy and sorrows of life. It’s a street parade for everybody.” In the transcendent spirit of the Second Line, São Paulo Underground summons a joyful noise for all mankind.

The experience of listening to Cantos Invisíveis often feels like stepping through the fourth wall, as if you’re in the room with the musicians, watching the instrumental conversations unfold in real time. 

The production enhances the intimacy, creating a space to enter the music rather than building a protective shell around it. It’s a communion that can only develop “as a result of a lot of time spent together working on music and ideas and then travelling together playing throughout the world,” Takara says. “I think there’s a certain atmosphere that only living and spending time together brings, and the record captures that beautifully.”

The title Cantos Invisíveis translates from Portuguese as “invisible corners” or “invisible songs” or “disappearing corners or songs,” and the music evokes the elusive nature of these phantom songs, “always masking it in some kind of way, a disappearing through layering and sound manipulation,” Mazurek says. “The songs kind of disappear in a way like a cloud of pink in the sky. We create atmospheres that cause form and melody to disappear,” and to reappear, enticing savvy sound explorers to join São Paulo Underground on a journey, like following a mountain trail obscured by drifting clouds.

The album opens with the elegiac “Estrada Para o Oeste,” a buzzy, fuzzy processional that flows and ripples into a band incantation, an invitation for revelry. The party kicks off with the brief percussion-driven “Violent Orchid Parade,” which quickly gives way to a very different celebration on “Cambodian Street Carnival,” an unhurried piece based on a wordless chant.

While it opens with electronic blips and beeps, Takara’s wheezy “Lost Corners Boogie” gradually dials into an eight-legged Rube Goldbergian contraption, with each player providing locomotion. The tune paints a vivid interactive portrait of funky street life, simultaneously taking in, documenting and participating in the passing parade.

Mazurek unleashes on Takara’s quicksilver “Fire and Chime,” while the whole band summons spirits with “Olhaluai,” a mesmerizing, revelatory looping chant that feels like the album’s emotional centerpiece. 

The celebration comes to a conclusion with the shimmering Beach-Boys-meets-Pharoah-Sanders good vibrations “Of Golden Summer,” a piece featuring Mazurek’s exquisite melodic horn. For the after party, where the piper is paid and the dawn brings new insight, São Paulo Underground offers what amounts to a mini-suite. 

Part invocation and part country lament, the 16-minute “Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost” offers a final and utterly unexpected trip around the universe.

With Cantos Invisíveis, São Paulo Underground expands into realms seen and unseen, deconstructing the material (defying borders and genres) and manifesting the spiritual (universal human spirit and emotion) to create a new organism. 

Each of the album’s resulting songs is a breathtaking musical world, a living planet within São Paulo Underground’s visionary universe. 

Based on the extraordinary music on Cantos Invisíveis, as well as the dynamic albums the trio released in the past, the universe that São PauloUnderground is boldly charting will continue to flourish, evolve and expand.


São Paulo Underground was born at the end of Mazurek’s eight-year Brazilian sojourn, when he began collaborating with the group’s co-founders Takara and Granado in São Paulo. In 2006, São Paulo Underground released its mind-bending debut Sauna: Um, Dois, Três (Aesthetics/Submarine). 

This record established the ensemble as a singular São Paulo/Chicago axis, with contributions by Hurtmold, Marcos Axe, Tiago Mesquita, Wayne Montana, Damon Locks, Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor. Following up with The Principle of Intrusive Relationships (Aesthetics/Submarine) in 2008, the band expanded to a quartet with the inclusion of drummer Richard Ribeiro. 

By the time the group recorded its 2011 Cuneiform debut Três Cabaças Loucuras, Ribeiro was on the way out and São Paulo Underground took its present form as an expansive trio. In 2013, Cuneiform released the trio’s critically acclaimed fourth recording, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo.


It’s difficult to overstate Mazurek’s immersion in the experimental ethos of Brazil’s avant garde. 

From 2000-2008, he moved between the denseAmazon jungle of Manaus, the Oscar Niemeyer-designed architectural wonderland in the capital Brasilia and the megalopolis São Paulo.

This brought him recognition throughout Brazil and allowed him to make lasting ties with leading artists and musicians that he continues to collaborate with today. 

Simultaneously, Mazurek continued his ascent stateside, in Europe and in Asia, by maintaining an intense touring schedule and constant flow of critically acclaimed, genre-defying recordings.

A polymorphously creative bandleader, Mazurek directs, composes and performs in a wide array of ensembles, from his highly interactive Chicago Underground Duo with drummer Chad Taylor, which released Locus (Northern Spy) in March 2014, to his talent-laden octet, which was captured on 2013’s Skull Sessions (Cuneiform), and of course São Paulo Underground. 

Always looking for synergistic cross-fertilization, he brought together his two subterranean ensembles, Chicago Underground and São Paulo Underground), and paired them with tenor saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders in Pharoah and the Underground, which released the CD Spiral Mercury and the LP Primative Jupiter (Clean Feed) in August 2014.

His latest releases include a duo with Jeff Parker, Some Jelly Fish Live Forever (Rogue Art), and Alien Flower Sutra (International Anthem Recording Company), a science fiction song cycle with singer/songwriter Emmett Kelly of The Cairo Gang. Exploding Star Orchestra remains one of the most important vehicles for Mazurek’s increasingly ambitious orchestral compositions.

This constantly shifting and capaciously inventive large ensemble has featured the likes of Roscoe Mitchell, as well as the late Bill Dixon and Fred Anderson, with Nicole Mitchell, Angelica Sanchez, Matana Roberts, Jeff Parker, John Herndon, Chad Taylor, Matt Bauder, Damon Locks, Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado, among others. 

The volatile ensemble released Galactic Parables: Volume 1, the most recent of nine Mazurek suites written for Exploding Star Orchestra, on Cuneiform in 2015.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Mazurek moved to the Chicago suburbs as a child. In 1983, wanting to follow the example of his hero Sun Ra, he moved to the city and immediately immersed himself in the eclectic Chicago scene, playing alongside and studying with jazz masters like Ken Prince, Jodie Christian, Earma Thompson, Billy Brimfield, Fred Hopkins and Lin Halliday.

In 1994, he and guitarist Jeff Parker launched the Chicago Underground workshop at Chicago’s storied jazz club The Green Mill. The workshop featured many of the scene’s rising stars including drummer Chad Taylor. Eventually the workshop gave birth to the Chicago Underground Collective, an ensemble that recorded several albums for Delmark, Thrill Jockey and most recently Northern Spy. Mazurek’s collaborations include a wide cross section of leading figures and ensembles in jazz, electronic, rock and improvised music, including the late Bill Dixon, Yusef Lateef, Naná Vasconcelos and Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders, Roscoe Mitchell, Mike Ladd, Emmett Kelly, Jim O’Rourke, Sam Prekop and Isotope 217.

More than a prolific composer, Mazurek is increasingly recognized by major arts institutions as an accomplished visual artist and has received a number of grants and commissions for multi-media projects and collaborations. 

In 2016, he was awarded a grant from Chicago’s Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a film shot in collaboration with Lee Anne Schmitt at Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House. In 2015, Marfa Book Company presented “Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers,” a solo exhibition of paintings, sculpture and sound by Mazurek. 

In 2013, he received a Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Arts Achievement Award and was given a residency at the famed URDLA Centre International Estampe & Livre in Villeurbanne, France where he realized four 3D lithographs to be used as graphic scores for improvisation. 

In 2010, Mazurek received a Commissioning Music USA grant from New Music USA for a multi-media work developed in collaboration with video artist and choreographer Marianne Kim. In 2005, the year before he founded São Paulo Underground, he was awarded a prestigious artist residency at the French Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, which gave him the opportunity to hone his interest in multi-media works.

Mazurek received a commission from the French Ministry of Culture in 2015 for a new work for a 17-piece ensemble comprised of French and American musicians. In 2013, the Sant'Anna Aressi Jazz Festival commissioned Mazurek’s Galactic Parables: Volume 1, which was performed live on Italian Rai Radio3. 

He topped off a highly productive 2012 by being voted International Musician of the Year alongside Wadada Leo Smith by Musica Jazz, Italy's top jazz magazine. In 2011, the Jazz & Wine Festival in Cormons, Italy commissioned him to compose his Violent Orchid Suite and the Sant'Anna Aressi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy commissioned the Transgressions Suite.


Mauricio Takara is considered one of the leading voices in the new post-Tropicalia wave of Brazilian music. 

A São Paulo native, Takara has performed and recorded with a dazzling array of artists. From Brazil, key connections include Paulo Santos, Toninho Horta, 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, Tony Bevan and Prefuse 73. Besides São Paulo Underground, Takara has also worked with other Chicagoconnected projects and artists such as Exploding Star Orchestra, Joshua Abrams 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 six records on the Submarine label. Most recently, Selo Sesc released a collaborative recording, Curado, featuring Hurtmold with Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Paulo Santos. Since 2003, Takara also released five solo albums on Desmonta Discos including Puro Osso in 2014 and Sobre Todas e Qualquer Coisa in 2010. 

Takara has toured extensively in Europe (Sonar Festival/Barcelona, Roskilde/Denmark, WOMEX/Seville & Club Transmediale/Berlin), the US, India (World Socials Forum) and Brazil (Nublu Jazz Festival, SESC Pinheiros, and opening for Lo Borges and Milton Nascimento at Coquetel Molotov Festival).


Also hailing from São Paulo, Guilherme Granado is in the vanguard of Brazil’s electronic spiritualism sound makers, devoted to promoting music, beats and ideas in Brazil. 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 is an integral member of the Brazilian rock group Hurtmold and has released five records under Bodes and Elefantes, his solo project. His 2014 release, Glaciers of Nice Vol. 1 (Propósito Records), is a glorious electronic-infused spiritual. 

In 2016, Granado released Bode Holofonico (Prop Recs) with Leandro Archela, Prestige Duo with Ricardo Pereira, Transition Hustle and Homeless Loops Vol. 2 (


Born and raised in Switzerland, Thomas Rohrer has lived in Brazil since 1995. Rohrer began his musical studies as a violinist and studied saxophone in the Jazz Department at the University of Lucerne. Rohrer, now a master of the keening rabeca (Brazilian viola), earned his stripes through two decades of intense studies with leading practitioners in Brazil’s northeast. Using his classical training, extensive knowledge of Brazilian folk music and love of improvisation, Roher integrates his rabeca and soprano saxophone into collective improvisations and traditional Brazilian music. 

He is a member of Trio TEC, the free-improv Abaetetuba Collective, a trio with reed expert Hans Koch and percussionist Panda Gianfratti, and a duo with Kazakhstani singer Saadet Türköz. He also performs in a long-running duo with Gianfratti and has worked extensively with double bass player Célio Barros since 1996. A cultural catalyst, he’s curated a number of international free improv festivals in São Paulo and collaborated with legendary multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef on a series of performances in Brazil. He has also collaborated with the London Improvisers Orchestra, Terry Day, Marcio Mattos, Mauricio Takara, John Russell, Javier Carmona, Phil Somervell, Bella, Ute Wassermann, Audrey Chen, Sabu Toyozumi, John Edwards, Phil Minton and Roger Turner.

1. Estrada Para o Oeste (Takara, Mazurek) 13:44
2. Violent Orchid Parade (Mazurek) 1:51
3. Cambodian Street Carnival (Mazurek) 6:45
4. Lost Corners Boogie (Takara) 6:02
5. Desisto II (Mazurek, Granado) 3:36
6. Fire and Chime (Takara) 2:38
7. Olhaluai (Takara) 5:51
8. Of Golden Summer (Mazurek) 4:14
9. Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost (Takara, Mazurek) 16:20

São Paulo Underground
Rob Mazurek:
cornet, Mellotron, modular synthesizer, Moog Paraphonic, OP-1, percussion and voice

Mauricio Takara:
drums, cavaquinho, electronics, Moog Werkstatt, percussion and voice

Guilherme Granado:
keyboards, synthesizers, sampler, percussion and voice

Thomas Rohrer:
rabeca, flutes, soprano saxophone, electronics, percussion and voice
Dedicated to the Spirit of Armando Julio.
Recorded by Manuel Calderon (Comanche Sound) at Sonic Ranch, El Paso, TX.
Additional recording by Mark Mazurek.
Mixed by Rob Mazurek and Manuel Calderon (Comanche Sound) at Sonic Ranch.
Mastered by Marco Ramirez at Sonic Ranch.
Produced by Rob Mazurek.
Cover Design by Damon Locks.
Compositions by Rob Mazurek (OLHO, ASCAP) and by Mauricio Takara (Basement Brazil).
Special thanks to Mark, Jennie and Alex Mazurek for their support during the creation of this record.

Twitter: @rob_mazurek - Instagram: @androidlovecry


São Paulo Underground - Cantos Invisíveis (CUNEIFORM RECORDS)