Starlicker: Rob Mazurke, John Herndon, Jason Adasiewicz

Starlicker May 10, 2011; 8pm

Starlicker, a trio comprised of Rob Mazurek (cornet), John Herndon (percussion), and Jason
Adasiewicz (vibraphone), is Rob Mazurek’s newest project. Deeply rooted in the Chicago and
International avant garde, Jazz and post rock scenes, Mazurek, Herndon and Adasiewicz expel
sound with pervading energy and other-worldy delicacy. Starlicker is a unique trio, blending the
origins of sound with imperative immediacy and sublime power.
***Debut release on Delmark Records April 2011
Rob Mazurek leads, composes for and performs with these critically acclaimed
ensembles: Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground, São Paulo
Underground, Mandarin Movie and Rob Mazurek’s Sound Is Quintet. A true
international artist, he has performed his compositions with these and other
ensembles for major festivals and venues throughout Europe, North America, South
America, and Japan. A virtuoso, Mazurek’s sound fills a room with warm light. He has
collaborated with icons of the New Music such as Bill Dixon, Roscoe Mitchell, Pharoah
Sanders, and Fred Anderson, and icons of other genres such as Nana Vasconcelos,
Marcelo Camelo, Luc Ferrari and Mike Ladd.
John Herndon creates waves of rhythm and maintains an abstract pulse that is
uniquely his own. Herndon works diligently sculpting his own beat and sound
oriented works under A Grape Dope while evolving his skills on the drum kit in
notable ensembles Exploding Star Orchestra, Ken Vandermark’s Powerhouse Sound,
Nobukazu Takemure, and with Jeff Parker in the iconic post rock collective Tortoise. Jason Adasiewicz’s vibes shimmer in the ether. A Chicago mainstay and DownBeat
Magazine rising star, Jason is a true original with a deep sensibility for sound vibration that can be heard through his innate and idiosyncratic approach to harmony and
melody. Jason’s musical history is spiked with fervent free improvisation and tight melodic rendering in such groups as Jason Adasiewicz Sun Rooms Trio, Exploding
Star Orchestra, Rolldown, and Loose Assembly.
Rob Mazurek’s
STARLICKER
ROB MAZUREK
CORNET
JOHN HERNDON DRUMS
JASON ADASIEWICZ VIBRAPHONE
EXPLODING STAR ORCHESTRA
ROB MAZUREK CORNET + ELECTRONICS
NICOLE MITCHEL FLUTES
MATT LUX ELECTRIC BASS
JOSH ABRAMS ACOUSTIC BASS
JOHN HERNDON DRUMS
MIKE REED DRUMS
JASON ADASIEWICZ VIBES
MATT BAUDER BASS CLARINET/TENOR SAX
JEB BISHOP TROMBONE
DAMON LOCKS VOICE + ELECTRONICS
JEFF PARKER GUITAR
Discography
STARS HAVE SHAPES (Delmark, Sept. 2010)
BILL DIXON WITH EXPLODING STAR ORCHESTRA (Thrill Jockey, 2008)

Reviews
“Futuristic, adventurous and accessible, We Are All From Somewhere Else is Mazurek’s most ambitious
and fully realized statement to date—a stunning achievement, highly recommended.” Troy Collins,
AllAboutJazz
“[We Are All From Somewhere Else] comes across as a work of ambition, imagination and panache.”
Nate Chinen, The New York Times
“There’s a brilliant ego-free empathy between the musicians that recalls electric Miles and Sun Ra’s
Arkestra.” Mike Barnes, Mojo
“Melding the playful exuberance of Jaga Jazzist with deeper, darker Ligeti-inspired ambiance and gentle
piano interludes, it’s a satisfying exploration…” Rock Sound
Biography
Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek founded the all-star Chicago-based Exploding Star
Orchestra in 2005, on commission from the Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute of
Chicago. Exploding Star Orchestra features a bevy of Chicago’s finest improvisers, including
members of Tortoise, Isotope 217, Town and Country, Black Earth Ensemble, Loose Assembly and
notable AACM members. Mazurek’s boundary-free compositions for the Orchestra are founded
on the principle of democratic improvisation, where each member contributes equally to the
ensemble’s sound and to Mazurek’s overall vision.
Exploding Star Orchestra released it’s debut album, We Are All From Somewhere Else, in 2007 and
Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra in 2008. The group has toured extensively in the US,
Europe and Brazil, both independently and in collaboration with icons of the new music, including
Bill Dixon, Fred Anderson and Roscoe Mitchell.
SÃO PAULO UNDERGROUND
ROB MAZUREK CORNET + ELECTRONICS
GUILHERME GRANADO KEYBOARD + ELECTRONICS + VIBES + MARIMBA
MAURICIO TAKARA PERCUSSION + CAVAQUINHO + ELECTRONICS
RICHARD RIBEIRO DRUMS
Discography
THE PRINCIPLE OF INTRUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
(Aesthetics, Submarine, Headz 2008)
SAUNA: UM, DOIS, TRÊS
( (Aesthetics, Submarine, Headz 2006)
Biography
Rob Mazurek (São Paulo Underground, Chicago Underground, Exploding Star Orchestra, The Rob
Mazurek Quintet, Mandarin Movie), while managing and developing numerous projects in Chicago,
spent several years living in the Brazilian Amazon. During this time, he would occasionally travel to
the thriving cultural and economic metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil. It is here that Mazurek met cofounder
of São Paulo Underground, Mauricio Takara, and other members of the cities rising
underground music movement.
In 2006, Mazurek and Takara released the group’s debut album Sauna: Um, Dois, Três to much
international acclaim, and began performing live, as a duo, in the US, Poland, Czech Republic, and
Brazil. The gravity of the duo’s sound soon pulled in two additional members, Guilherme Granado
and Richard ‘Hollywood’ Ribeiro.
São Paulo Underground, now a quartet, includes Mazurek and three native Paulistanos, Takara,
Granando, and Ribeiro, all percussionists, thus explaining the group’s dynamic and forceful nature.
Takara and Granado additionally control samplers, electronics and also add cavaquinho, and vibes
and marimba to the mix, respectively. In 2008, they released their first album as a quartet, The
Principle of Intrusive Relationships, which was rated among the Top 50 Records of 2008 by The Wire
Magazine. São Paulo Underground has toured extensively throughout the US, Brazil and Europe.
The group recently recorded it’s third album, Três CabeÇas Loucuras, which is due out in 2011.
To describe the music the quartet creates is futile. São Paulo Underground embodies a fascinating
musical mixture of Sun Ra-esque cosmic noise and rhythms and phrasing from samba, maracatu,
rock and free jazz traditions.
Recent Notable Festivals
SESC Pinheros – with special guest Pharaoh Sanders (São Paulo, Brazil – 2010)
House of World Cultures – Hugh Massakela’s 70th Birthday Celebration (Berlin, Germany – 2009)
International Jazz Festival (Verona, Italy – 2009)
Festival no ar Coquetel Molotov (Recife, Brasil – 2009)
“A modern approach to Brazil’s tropicalia, that takes into account advances
in sound manipulation and engineering. It is street music from the Brazil
subterranean avant-garde and it is confusingly wonderful.”
– Mark Corroto A”AboutJazz (2008)
Top 50 Records of 2008 – The Wire
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO
Boca Negra
ROB MAZUREK – CORNET + ELECTRONICS
CHAD TAYLOR – PERCUSSION + VIBRAPHONE + ELECTRONICS
Reviews
“Atmospheric, exploratory music that creates worlds as it progresses.” Colin Butler, BBC (2010)
“Boca Negra…is the rare jazz album that gets deep into the possibilities of the recording studio. It doesn’t
sound expensively made, but it accomplishes a great deal. Each track has a different sonic personality from
the last; sometimes different personalities lie sandwiched into the same track…This isn’t just sonic research;
it’s a real album, paced and considered. It feels good.” Ben Ratliff, The New York Times (2010)
“The Chicago Underground ensembles have steadily produced a heady mix of raw and innovative acoustic
extrapolations, complemented by deft use of electronics and signal processing. This album illustrates this
dynamic, striking a poignant balance between improvisation and programming, between tune and
atmosphere…Those already aware of the Duo’s merits will need no convincing to feast their ears here, while
new listeners willing to dedicate some time will surely be drawn into a lucid and impressionistic arena of
reflections and evocations, both tranquil and fierce.” Fiacha O’Dubhda, Junkmedia.org (2010)
“Boca Negra isn’t an album that’s easy to get acquainted with — this is music designed to induce a
fundamental paradigm shift in our expectations of what a band can be and how they should operate, with two
accomplished players bringing agitation and affection together at an uneasy meeting point.” Nick Neyland,
DrownedInSound.com (2010)
“Mazurek is a player of great poise and elegance, while Taylor’s deftness, imagination and formidable technical
skill always make his playing a joy to listen to…from the densest meshes to the sparsest near silent passage,
each sonic cypher, beat and note seem to be leading somewhere, to have been made with a purpose.”
Mike Barnes, The Wire (2006)
Biography
The Chicago Underground Duo formed in 1997 as an organic offshoot of the larger Chicago
Underground Collective. The Duo consists of Rob Mazurek (cornet, electronics, piano) and Chad
Taylor (percussion, electronics, vibes, mbira, guitar), both stalwarts on the Chicago Jazz front.
The Duo has logged the most touring and releases, five counting the recent 2010 release Boca Negra
(Thrill Jockey, 2010), of the Chicago Underground Collectives. Rob and Chad have toured extensively
as a duo in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Brazil, while maintaining rigorous individual
schedules. The Duo is also, arguably, the most musically adventurous of the Chicago Underground
incarnations. Performances are based on both notated compositions, composed by both artists, and
on pure improvisation.
Discography

Watch Chicago Underground Duo Live:
Live in São Paulo, Brasil (2005)
Live at Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz 2008 – Sant’Anna Arresi, Sardinia, Italy (2008)
MORE from Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz 2008 – Sant’Anna Arresi, Sardinia, Italy (2008)
Recent Notable Performances
Guelph International Jazz Festival – Guelph, Canada (Upcoming Sept. 2010)
Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago, USA
Festival of New Trumpet Music – New York City, USA
Levontine 7, Summer Festival Series – Tel Aviv, Israel
Festival Animator – Poznań, Poland
Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz 2008 – Sant’Anna Arresi, Sardinia, Italy
Pitchfork Festival – Chicago, USA
SESC Pompei – São Paulo, Brasil
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO
Discography
Media Samples
Recent Notable Performances
Chicago Underground Duo
Boca Negra
Thrill Jockey Records – January 2010
Boca Negra is the 5th release of the critically acclaimed Chicago
Underground Duo and 11th release by the Chicago Underground
Collective. As with the previous four Duo records it contains both
composed and improvised music. The recording contains powerful
grooves along with ambient sound structures, folk song simplicity and
polyrhythmic bursts of energy with lyrical melodic vignettes. It also
combines high energy music with slow moving ballads. Boca Negra
was recorded in Sao Paulo, Brazil at Rocha Studios making it the first
record not created in Chicago. It is also the first record that contains a “cover”, that being Ornette Coleman!s “Broken
Shadows”. This record has been three years in the making and took so long to make due partly to both Chad and Rob!s
frantic touring schedules (Rob is the leader of the Exploding Star Orchestra, Sao Paulo Underground, Mandarin Movie,
and more while Chad performs with Iron and Wine, Marc Ribot, and so forth).
The title “Boca Negra” means “Black Mouth”, a term coined in the Tenerife Canary Islands evoking the idea of an endless
intake of information and also harks to the mouth of the volcano Tiede. The cover photo of the record was taken at the
Dead Sea. Keeping those two things in mind, one of the goals of the record was to present the listener with the familiar in
unfamiliar ways. “Broken Shadows” for instance, has Chad playing the drums and vibraphone simultaneously. He plays
just the A section or verse while Rob plays the bridge section or chorus of the tune. The form is repeated over and over
but some times the bridge is elongated, sometimes it is shortened and sometimes it is skipped all together, evoking the
idea of “Broken Shadows”. There are improvisations that sound like composed songs in which Chad!s mbira and Rob!s
cornet are played through various filters often times sounding like different instruments all together and composed songs
that sound like improvisations of folk songs. “Confliction” was probably the most difficult song to record. The bass line
flows with ease but the time signature varies between 17/8 and 4/4. As with previous records the goal was not to show
virtuoso technique, but rather to present the listener with an emotional experience that transcends the idea of genre or
label.
Boca Negra was produced by the inimitable Matt Lux. Matt is the bass player for Iron and Wine, Isotope 217, Mandarin
Movie and the Exploding Star Orchestra. Matt and Chad have know each other over 20 years and Chad has said that
it was Matt who originally got him interested in playing the drums, so both Rob and Chad were honored to have him on
board. Most of the sounds on the record which are not the drums or cornet were programed with computer software. This
is the first record in which Chad utilized his programing skills (the previous four records had Rob using his computer).
Chicago Underground Duo has been part of a new generation of music improvisers that emerged in Chicago in the
1990!s. Their live shows have often been described as astounding and Chicago Underground Duo plans to tour both the
U.S. and abroad this summer in support of the new record.
For music, a press kit or photos, please contact:
David Halstead | 312-492-9634 | dave@thrilljockey.com
http://www.thrilljockey.com/press
NEW RELEASE
Rob Mazurek’s
SOUND IS QUINTET
ROB MAZUREK CORNET
MATTHEW LUX ELECTRIC BASS
JOSHUA ABRAMS ACOUSTIC BASS
JOHN HERNDON DRUMS
JASON ADASIEWICZ VIBRAPHONE
ROB MAZUREK’S SOUND IS QUINTET ( Delmark, 2009)
Click here to listen to tracks !om Rob Mazurek’s Sound Is Quintet
Reviews
“Sound Is serves as both question and answer, offering the most focused demonstration of Mazurek’s multifaceted
aesthetic to date; a potent blend of populist accessibility, inventive electro-acoustic tonalities and
edgy improvisation.” Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz
“Interspersed with Zappa-like cut-ups this is one more nail in the coffin of boundary demarcation in modern
music.” Chris Jones, BBC
‘Mazurek orchestrates this quintet brilliantly, cresting the rhythm section’s waves with fleet, Freddie Hubbardlike
runs and rounded, delicate skitter.” Signal to Noise
“This is a serious and weighty statement from a mature artist still exuberantly breaking new ground.” The
Wire
“‘Dragon Kites’ is a floating composition trumped by a purposely stuck skip phrase, while furious cacophony
from the entire quintet is captured on ‘Aphrodite Rising,’ and ‘The Star Splitter’ lays Christmas bells on top of
South Side Chicago blues. The remarkable diversity displayed and stunning modernism heard on Sound Is
should indicate that Rob Mazurek’s musical footprint is difficult to pigeonhole, but is clearly an individual
stance unique unto itself.” Michael G. Nastos, Allmusic Guide
Biography
Splitting his time between Chicago and São Paulo, Brazil, composer and cornetist Rob
Mazurek is the quintessential international artist, and one of the Windy City’s most prolific
scene leaders.
Rob Mazurek’s Sound Is Quintet Features some of Chicago’s finest and reveals a mixed
pedigree with equal parts indie rock and jazz. Drummer John Herndon (Tortoise, the For
Carnation) and electric bassist Matthew Lux (Isotope 217, Iron and Wine) bring an
accessible pop and rock sensibility to the driving rhythms and soaring melodies of
Mazurek’s sanguine tunes. Acoustic bassist Josh Abrams (Town and Country, Black Earth
Ensemble) and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz (Loose Assembly, Rolldown) provide
sophisticated harmonies and colorful textures befitting their jazz lineage

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