Spiral Mercury album cover
Spiral Mercury

Chicago/São Paulo Underground , Pharoah Sanders

Clean Feed

In August 2013, cornet player and bandleader Rob Mazurek combined two of his groups, Chicago Underground and São Paulo Underground, into one and added a magical third element, the saxophone of Pharoah Sanders. The group included Mazurek on cornet and flute, Guilherme Granado on synths and percussion, Matthew Lux on electric bass, Mauricio Takara on percussion, and Chad Taylor on drums and mbira. The music pulls from Mazurek’s catalog, but also feels fully improvised; it sounds like you’re wandering through a jungle of sound, like a dubby take on the more atmospheric work of Miles Davis’s 1970s septet. Pharoah roams the sonic landscape like a tiger, never exploding but always stalking, making his presence known as he slips smoothly between the other players. (There’s a companion vinyl-only release, Primative Jupiter, with more music from the same concert.)

Phil Freeman

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