The 9th Chicago Underground release and the 4th as a Duo, In Praise of Shadows finds cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor returning the focus to improvisation. While In Praise of Shadows is similar to Twelve Degrees of Freedom in concept, the record deals with dyad relationships such as tension and release, space and density, sound and silence. It also plays with sonic contrasts, low tone and high tones as well as contrasting approaches juxtaposing free jazz with modern composition.
The Duo has also brought in European, Asian and African influences; a conscious effort to branch out into a different direction than previous Duo releases, as well as a natural result of years of international touring and collaborations. The Duo use many different sound sources. This is the first Duo recording with organ; while originally part of the Duo’s sound, it had not been used previously on records. The drums were tuned extremely low for a striking effect - vastly different than the bright pop of previous recordings. As with all of the Duo recordings, no overdubs were used in recording the drums and vibraphone; Chad Taylor is able to play both simultaneously.
Many of Mazurek’s cornet and lap top parts as well as Taylor’s mbira utilize John McEntire’s experience with post-production techniques. In Praise of Shadows was recorded in four days; two days of basics and two days for post production/mixing. The album is intended to be viewed as one continual experience rather than a collection of different tracks.
Axis and Alignment was the end of a conceptual Trilogy for the Duo.
In Praise of Shadows is the beginning of something different and unknown. Chad Taylor and Rob Mazurek are musicians of considerable talent and acclaim who have created a musical experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
ROB MAZUREK also performs with the Exploding Star Orchestra (featuring Nicole Mitchell, David Boykin, Ken Vandermark, John McEntire, Jim Baker, Jeff Parker, Josh Berman, Jason Adasiewicz, Jason Ajemian, Michael Reed and John Herndon). Additionally, he records for Mego and Delmark. He recently was awarded a Grant for composition from Le Centre Cultural De L’Oeste in Paris as well as Philadelphia’s Meet the Composer Grant. He lives in Manaus, Brazil.
CHAD TAYLOR performs regularly with Sam Prekop and Sticks and Stones. Recent performances and recordings have included collaborations with Marc Ribot, Charles Gayle, Jemeel Moondoc, Fred Anderson, Andrew Lamb, Assif Tsahar, Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, Henry Grimes, Steve Swell, William Parker, Jeff Parker and Abraham Burton. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.