Rob Mazurek — Exploding Star Orchestra’s “The Careening Prism Within (Parable 43)” from the album ‘Dimensional Stardust,’ out now on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records: smarturl.it/dimensionalstardust
Film by Mikel Patrick Avery
For his 2020 album with Exploding Star Orchestra, ‘Dimensional Stardust,’ Rob Mazurek arranged his pieces for eleven musicians—Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Jaimie Branch, Joel Ross, Mikel Patrick Avery, Tomeka Reid, Chad Taylor, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Macie Stewart, Angelica Sanchez, and John Herndon—and commissioned his long-time lyrics collaborator Damon Locks to draft original texts for the songs. The album 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, he distills an orchestra of explosive improvisers into a graceful group exercise in melodic minimalism.