Skull Sessions combines two of Rob's groups: Sao Paulo Underground and Starlicker with additional personnel. The band is an international cast of masters, including drummer John Herndon (of Tortoise), vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and flutist Nicole Mitchell, (both DownBeat poll winners on their respective instruments), Guilherme Granado on keyboards and electronics, Carlos Issa on guitar and electronics, Mauricio Takara on percussion and cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele), and Thomas Rohrer on C melody saxophone and rabeca (a rustic Brazilian viola). The fusion of these musicians ignites a beautiful cosmic burst!
The big bang that led to Skull Sessions detonated when the We Want Miles exhibition at SESC Sao Paulo requested that Mazurek devise a presentation related to his deep affinity for the music of Miles Davis. In characteristic fashion, he decided against recreating any of Davis's music, instead composing new pieces for the Octet's particular personalities and unusual timbres. The resulting album puts great musicians and compositions together and trusts in them enough to simply let them go!