Chicago Underground (jazz ensemble)

Chicago Underground is an avant-garde jazz ensemble formed in Chicago in 1997 based around the core duo of cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer/percussionist Chad Taylor. They have recorded and performed as the Chicago Underground Duo, Trio, Quartet or Orchestra depending on how many additional musicians are uncles. The ensemble which has released numerous recordings on the Thrill Jockey and Delmar labels.[1][2]

Chicago Underground Duo in Aarhus, Denmark 2015
Chad Taylor 2015
Rob Mazurek 2015

Rob Mazurek / Chad TaylorEdit

Rob Mazurek was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1965, and played trumpet and cornet in high school. After high school he attended the Bloom School of Jazz in Chicago, and began playing gigs with local jazz musicians.

In 1996, Mazurek founded a workshop at Chicago jazz club The Green Mill called Chicago Underground for the performance of avant-garde, improvisatory jazz. By 1998, a new ensemble had formed around this idea, featuring guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer Chad Taylor, bassist Noel Kupersmith, and trombonist Sara Smith. After this ensemble released an album on Chicago's Delmark Records as the Chicago Underground Orchestra,[3] Mazurek and Taylor continued to form groups under the Chicago Underground umbrella, performing as the Chicago Underground Duo, Chicago Underground Trio and Chicago Underground Quartet.


As Chicago Underground DuoEdit

  • 12° of Freedom (Thrill Jockey, 1998)
  • Synesthesia (Thrill Jockey, 2000)
  • Axis and Alignment (Thrill Jockey, 2002)
  • In Praise of Shadows (Thrill Jockey, 2006)
  • Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey, 2010)
  • Age of Energy (Northern-Spy, 2012)
  • Locus (Northern-Spy, 2014)

As Chicago Underground TrioEdit

As Chicago Underground QuartetEdit

  • Chicago Underground Quartet (Thrill Jockey, 2001)
  • Good Days (Astral Spirits Records, 2020)

As Chicago Underground OrchestraEdit

As Pharoah & The UndergroundEdit

  • Spiral Mercury (Clean Feed Records, 2014) - with Pharoah Sanders and São Paulo Underground


  1. ^ Meyer, Bill (July 25, 2019). "Genre-defying composer and improviser Rob Mazurek explores different parts of the world across three new recordings". Chicago Reader. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Whitehead, Kevin (July 8, 2020). "Drummer Chad Taylor Radiates Good Vibrations On 'The Daily Biological'". NPR. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Jenco, Melissa (May 3, 2013). "Naperville Central honors notable alumni". Naperville Sun. Retrieved November 16, 2020.

External linksEdit