This exceptional live document finds legendary free jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders collaborating with cornetist Rob Mazurek and members of the Sao Paulo Underground and Chicago Underground Duo. Mazurek takes a leading role for the most part, joined by Sanders in his regular volcanic, spiritual state of playing and supported dutifully by percussionist Maurício Takara, drummer Chad Taylor, bassist Matt Lux, and multi-instrumentalist Guilherme Granado. The disc tends toward the more experimental and tumultuous side of things, with processed synth sounds clashing with the explosive organic instrumentation in a way that brings to mind Sun Ra's rudimentary synth experimentation on his early-'70s Saturn Records output.
São Paulo Underground's second Cuneiform release, 2013's Beija Flors Velho e Sujo, translates as Old and Dirty Hummingbirds – a rather contradictory title but an appropriate one for an album melding the nimble with the lowdown (and the abstract and trippily disorienting). Now solidified into the trio of Rob Mazurek (cornet, Evolver, ring modulator, analog delay, harmonium), Mauricio Takara (percussion, cavaquinho, electronics), and Guilherme Granado (keyboards, synthesizer, sampler, voice), São Paulo Underground take listeners on a kaleidoscopic journey across the album's ten tracks, which were trotted out during a 2012 U.S.-Canadian tour before being recorded and mixed in Chicago – with deep sonic manipulation – for inclusion here.
Tapestries for Small Orchestra, eminent trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon's new multi-disc set, includes two audio CDs of specially commissioned original music plus a documentary film featuring exclusive interviews and session footage (DVD available only with physical release). Made possible in part by a grant from the LEF Foundation's Contemporary Work Fund and the support of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, this project thoroughly documents the three-day recording session at Firehouse 12's state of the art recording studio, offering unprecedented access into Dixon's creative process.
Since Matchbox Twenty is a faceless group, recognizable for its hits rather than its image, it's easy to assume that the band is nothing more than a solo project in disguise for its frontman, lead singer and chief songwriter Rob Thomas (who should not be confused with Rob Thomas, the creator of UPN's 2005 cult TV series Veronica Mars). Not only is he prominent in the band's videos and press, but he scored the biggest hit of his career with "Smooth," a song he penned and sung for Santana's 1999 comeback, Supernatural. Even though Matchbox Twenty's 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, was a big hit and spawned four radio hits, "Smooth" was bigger than any of them, making Thomas famous, if not exactly a star…