David Grubbs – electric guitar and voice; Mats Gustafsson – saxophones and live electronics; Rob Mazurek – trumpet and electronics
The Underflow is the newly minted trio of Mats Gustafsson (reeds, electronics), Rob Mazurek (trumpet, electronics), and David Grubbs (electric guitar). Their self-titled debut album was recorded live in Athens, Greece at the record store/performance venue Underflow and will be released in the fall of 2019 by Corbett vs. Dempsey. Soon a limited edition vinyl by Undeflow record store & art gallery records will be available as well.
Although Gustafsson, Mazurek, and Grubbs have played together separately and operate within an extensive, overlapping network of collaborators, the three had not convened as a trio until John Corbett proposed the grouping for two nights of concerts in Athens in the summer of 2019. But there is a history: although originally from Sweden, Mats Gustafsson was a regular, vital presence in Chicago during the period when Mazurek and Grubbs were making their mark. It’s Rob Mazurek’s cornet that pushes Grubbs’s band Gastr del Sol (with Jim O’Rourke) to new highs on the track “The Seasons Reverse,” and Grubbs and Gustafsson released two duo albums in 1999 and 2003 (Apertura and Off-Road), and have been primed for years to take it to the stage again.
The Underflow shows the trio hitting their stride instantly, ranging widely and weirdly with utter self-possession as they veer between a dense frontline of electronics; Gustafsson’s lapidary fluteophone and explosive baritone sax; Grubbs’s crystalline, athematic voice on the guitar; and Mazurek’s all-bets-off improvisatory wildness on trumpet, sampler, and hollerin’ vocal. Satisfying as it is, this recording is only a hint of what lies ahead for the trio as they plot their first tour January 18-25, 2020.
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