Live preview: Chicago Underground Duo
Two improvisers simulate an ambient-jazz orchestra.
Fri Mar 9 2012
Photograph: Peter Gannushkin/downtownmusic.net
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5
If you were listening in the late '90s and early aughts, you might have mistaken the Chicago Underground project for a jazz band: a playful, open-minded one—expandable from a duo to a quartet—informed by the Windy City radicalism of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, but conventional enough. Today, that genre tag doesn't really apply, and neither does the geographical ID. Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor, the multi-instrumentalists at the group's core, now reside in So Paulo and NYC, respectively, and it's as though they ditched all aesthetic baggage when they dispersed. The Duo's current output is warm and enveloping, an ambience you step into like a bath. On new album Age of Energy (Northern Spy), celebrated at tonight's gig, Mazurek and Taylor are their own remixers, collaging unbridled cornet-drums improv with celestial drone pop and synth-haloed dub. It's a sound so lush, even the word Duo seems dubious.
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