For over a decade cornetist Rob Mazurek and percussionist Chad Taylor have been co-conspirators in the experimental Chicago Underground groups. On Chronicle, recorded live at Chicago’s German Cultural Center, the visionary duo enlists the talented Chicago bassist Jason Ajemian to create a powerful and persuasive trio. To enhance the core instrumentation of cornet, bass and drums, all three musicians manipulate electronic and percussion instruments to create a multitude of sonic textures.
The six selections on Chronicle seem to meld into each other to create an expansive journey through various musical landscapes. The intense solo bass explorations on "Initiation" combine explosive chordal drones with chromatic single note riffs. Ajemian assumes complete control over his instrument, stretching its sonic limitations. The aggressiveness perseveres through "Resistance" as Taylor makes his presence known on the drums and marimba. The trio employs a host of electronic sound accompaniment on "Power" to blend seamlessly with the ostinato driven grooves. "Crisis" sustains an unsettling mood which isn’t resolved until the end with Mazurek’s redemptive melodic statements. The long, gradual crescendo throughout the industrial minded "Transformation" resolves optimistically into the displays of musical virtuosity that close the session on "Transcendence"
Chronicle captures the magic of musical spontaneity and cerebral interplay between three highly diverse and adept musicians. The challenging musical vision of the Chicago Underground Trio is bold and refreshing.