Robert Mazurek & Chicago Underground Orchestra – Playground
Delmark DE 503 (1998)
After a standout set on the main stage of the Chicago Jazz Festival this summer, there has been quite a buzz about the debut recording of Robert Mazurek’s Chicago Underground Orchestra. On Playground, the Orchestra effortlessly channels highly intuitive and energetic free playing (with a nod to electric Miles) into inherently tuneful compositions by trumpeter Mazurek and guitarist Jeff Parker, with a band rounded out by some truly imaginative players: trombonist Sara Smith, bassist Chris Lopez, and drummer Chad Taylor. Features members of popular post-rock Chicago ensembles Tortoise and Isotope.