Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra - Dimensional Stardust LPInternational Anthem Recording Co.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Following the 2018 JazzFest Berlin debut of the new Exploding Star Orchestra music, Mazurek returned to Chicago, where International Anthem took the opportunity to capture his new ESO compositions with a cast of collaborators from their collective constellation of artists. Over a handful of studio dates between August 2019 and March 2020, Mazurek arranged his pieces for eleven musicians. Dimensional Stardust recalls an array of Mazurek's symphonic- influences-from Béla Bartók to Morton Feldman to Gil Evans to Sun Ra to Pedro Santos to Bill Dixon to The Art Ensemble of Chicago. Opting to focus on tight ensemble orchestration over passages of open improvisation, Mazurek distills an orchestra of explosive improvisers into a beautifully restrained, graceful group exercise in melodic minimalism. Mazurek himself is sparsely present as an instrumentalist, only occasionally joining the ensemble with his piccolo trumpet. All the way through, the electro-acoustic poly-rhythmic percussion section (Chad Taylor, Mikel Patrick Avery, and John Herndon) churns, peaking in rare soloist moments by flutist Nicole Mitchell (on the opener "Sun Core Tet") and guitarist Jeff Parker (on "The Careening Prism Within").