7 Songs, 1 Hour, 16 Minutes


About Sao Paulo Underground

Cornetist Rob Mazurek garnered wide attention after moving past his hard bop roots and becoming a guiding force in Chicago avant jazz with various Chicago Underground lineups in the '90s, also exploring post-rock, electronica, and more while adding Tortoise and Isotope 217 to his résumé. He carried his expansive, inquisitive sensibility to South America upon moving to Brazil in 2000 and later in the decade formed São Paulo Underground, a tropicalia-influenced experimental duo with percussionist Mauricio Takara, which debuted with Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres on the Aesthetics label in 2006 (both Mazurek and Takara are also credited with electronics on the recording). For 2008's The Principle of Intrusive Relationships, also released by Aesthetics, the Mazurek-Takara duo expanded to a quartet with the addition of Guilherme Granado (keyboards, electronics) and Richard Ribeiro (drums), both of whom also appeared on the São Paulo Underground album Tres Cabeças Loucuras, issued by Cuneiform in 2011. The cornetist also tapped Takara and Granado to be members of his Rob Mazurek Octet (a band including members of the Chicago-based Exploding Star Orchestra and Starlicker), which recorded Skull Sessions live at a 2011 Miles Davis exhibition in São Paulo. An exuberant melding of Mazurek's São Paulo and Chicago music worlds, Skull Sessions was released by Cuneiform in January 2013. Featuring a trio lineup of Mazurek, Takara, and Granado, São Paulo Underground's second Cuneiform album, Beija Flors Velho e Sujo, arrived in June of that year. In 2014, a live recording appeared from Clean Feed. Entitled Pharoah In the Underground and co-billed to São Paulo Underground and Spiral Mercury Chicago (featuring members of Chicago Underground Duo and SPU) in collaboration with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. In addition Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost, a Mazurek side project on Cuneiform also showcased the band's alter ego, Black Cube SP (that includes the Swiss-born multi instrumentalist Thomas Rohrer, who also resides in Brazil). São Paulo Underground's fifth album, Cantos Invisiveis also featured Rohrer on several tracks. it was released in October of 2016. ~ Dave Lynch



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