Rob Mazurek/Emmett Kelly - Alien Flower Sutra

Rob Mazurek/Emmett Kelly - Alien Flower Sutra

Sat · March 16, 2019

9:00 pm

$0.00

This event is 21 and over

Rob Mazurek
Rob Mazurek
Born 1966 in Jersey City, NJ, Rob Mazurek has moved to Chicago as a pre-teen and eventually cut his teeth on the city's bop scene. Early on he played with the late pianist Kenny Prince and drummer Yoron Israel, but it was his quartet with drummer George Fludas, bassist John Webber and pianist Randolph Tessler where his skills began to get noticed.
Later, while in Edinburgh as part of an experimental theater piece with actor Kevin McCoy for the city's International Fringe Festival in 1992, Mazurek jammed with local musicians was so warmly received that the following year he booked his quartet into an Edinburgh spot called the Tron Tavern & Ceilidh House for an engagement concurrent with the Fringe Festival. The band was a big hit and the British Hep jazz label took notice, signing them.
While long a fan of the great trumpeter Don Cherry, Mazurek borrowed his lyricism without necessarily tapping into his freedom-seeking conception, but that all changed in the winter of 1995 when he began playing with guitarist Jeff Parker. Suddenly he began absorbing new sounds, from the coloristic work of trumpeter Bill Dixon to the spacious, slowly evolving compositions of Morton Feldman.
Upon cementing his musical bond with Parker, Mazurek began gigging under the name "Chicago Underground Orchestra" with a loose-knit coterie of Chicagoans who all shared an inetrest in tearing down musical boundaries, including Mazurek's drummer of choice for his flexibility, Chad Taylor.
Emmett Kelly
Emmett Kelly
American singer, songwriter and guitarist
Alien Flower Sutra
Alien Flower Sutra
Composed and arranged by Rob Mazurek, Alien Flower Sutra is the apogee of a collaborative conceptual process that bloomed over multiple years, voices and instrumentations. After planting seeds at home with pen, piano and cornet in hand, Mazurek took to various performance spaces in Chicago and São Paulo across 2013 and 2014 to open his compositions to interpretation by a potent pool of creative musicians. Among them was guitarist Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang, Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society), whose interchanges with Mazurek led the two to conversations about an accompanying storyline for the music.

Responding to post-apocalyptic and science-fictional imageries long central to Mazurek’s aesthetic (as themed by his Exploding Star Orchestra, Pulsar Quartet, and Black Cube SP), Kelly took to writing lyrics within the framework of the existing melodies. The consummate story colors a vivid first-person narrative through the perception of a cybernetic organism struggling to reconcile the human buried inside their computer-regulated psyche. In the exposition, on “Blackout,” the protagonist finds enlightenment and pleasure in a power outage that temporarily suspends their vision. And by the culmination, on “We Are One,” they find equal expression through both sides of their organic-electronic persona: “a good companion in the steel / understands me like no other / and feels nothing I cannot feel / in the bolt of lightning, we are one.” Meditating on not-too-futuristic concepts common to the collective conscience of our time, the final script finds optimism over paranoia in the advancing state of human evolution.

Though part of Mazurek’s early vision was to develop this work into a full-scale opera, he found inspiration in the intimate voice/guitar recordings Kelly made remotely, and chose instead to experiment with those minimal tracks alongside recordings from Sâo Paulo’s El Rocha Studios he’d been maturating in his modular synthesizers. Alien Flower Sutra as finalized for this release is an animate palette of poetry and electronic treatments conducted by Mazurek and articulated by the candor of Kelly’s aching narratives.
Venue Information:
Zebulon
2478 N Fletcher Dr
Los Angeles, CA, 90039
http://zebulon.la/