The Chicago Underground Duo formed in late 1997 as an organic offshoot of the larger Chicago Underground Collective. The Duo consists of Rob Mazurek (cornet, electronics, piano) and Chad Taylor (percussion, electronics, vibes, guitar), both stalwarts on the Chicago Jazz front.
The Duo can easily be seen as the "workhorse" of the Chicago Underground Collective. They've logged the most touring and releases, five counting the recent 2010 release Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey, 2010). Rob and Chad have toured extensively in the U.S, Canada, Europe, Japan and Brazil, while maintaining rigorous individual schedules. The Duo is also, arguably, the most musically adventurous of the Chicago Underground incarnations. Performances are based on both notated compositions, composed by both artists, and on pure improvisation.
Splitting his time between Chicago and São Paulo, Brazil, composer and cornetist Rob Mazurek is the quintessential international artist. A prolific and magnanimous collaborator, Mazurek leads numerous ensembles (Exploding Star Orchestra, Rob Mazurek's Sound Is Quintet, Chicago Underground, São Paulo Underground, Tigersmilk and Mandarin Movie), all of which possess their own distinct identity.
Mazurek continues to expand his reach as a solo and multi-media artist with performance exhibitions and artist residencies, most notably at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, the Abbey Royal de Fontevrau, France and Galleria Coletivo in São Paulo, Brazil.
Mazurek's musical career spans over twenty-five years, with over 200 published compositions and recordings with Thrill Jockey, Delmark, Aesthetics and Submarine records, as well as other labels. His vibrant sonic palettes defy categorization. This has allowed him to collaborate with icons of varied genres including Bill Dixon, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Jim O'Rourke, Mike Ladd, Fred Hopkins, Luc Ferrari, Gastr del Sol, Noamnesia, Tortoise, Nana Vasconcellos, and Marcelo Camelo, among many others.
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.
Mazurek is a player of great poise and elegance, while Taylor's deftness, imagination and formidable technical skill always make his playing a joy to listen to... from the densest meshes to the sparsest near silent passage, each sonic cypher, beat and note seem to be leading somewhere, to have been made with a purpose.