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Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra

Free jazz performers rely on unspoken understanding when performing, so it’s hardly noteworthy that these horn players–’60s icon Bill Dixon and Brazil-based Chicago expat Rob Mazurek–come together seamlessly. What makes this 2007 live recording stand out is the way two generations fused into something truly powerful. Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra–who mix the slinky guitar lines, ethereal flute, effects-laden horns, and echoing xylophones perfected on previous albums–compliment Dixon’s voice, a lyrical style born in the era of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. While it’s more of an intriguing meeting than a monumental summit, it’s an exciting set filled with rumbling rhythms, transcendent drones, ethereal chants, and cathartic releases.

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