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Rakalam Bob Moses: Father's Day B'hash

Lyn Horton By

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Accepting the offer of a fellow instructor at the New England Conservatory for free studio time, drummer Rakalam Bob Moses assembled a band of evolving musicians and longtime collaborator Stan Strickland (tenor saxophonist and clarinetist), to record, on June 16, 2006, Father's Day B'Hash. Moses proposed ideas for saxophonists Strickland, Ommudra Thomas Arabia, Nick Videen, Luis Rosa and Petr Cancura, violinist Andrei Matorin, bassist Justin Purtill and trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud yet asked that free expression be the guiding force.

The music travels forward, uninhibited, in a straight line. Moses' drumming lays down a tight even-handed support in its constancy, particularly evident in the three "Exhalation" pieces. His stick work is nearly unbreakable, building a resilient wall of sound to which the other players respond, forming multi-voiced transparent layers, investing the music not only with timbral detail, but also breath and life.

The mild introductory rampage that Moses fires up on piano and hi-hat for "Pollack Springs" unlocks the option for the band to follow in a cacophonous symphony. As melodic or synchronous as the music can be at any point, it always opens wide, clearly continuing within signature Moses sensitivity. Memorable passages from trumpet, violin or bass clarinet anchor the multiplicity of threads the instruments create. The music speaks of nothing but joy and celebration. In the last cut, "A Pure and Simple Being," utilizing rattles, cymbal sibilance and his voice, Moses provides the center around which alto saxophone sings an elegantly phrased song. This piece becomes the core message of the recording—honoring both Moses' deceased father and blossoming son, corralling all three generations into one.

Track Listing: Exhalation#1 (Love); Exhalation#3 (Fire Breath); Pollack Springs; Father's Day Celebration; Drums for Shompa Lodro; Exhalation#2 (Peace); Our Life; Duet for Violin and Squeaky Door; A Pure and Simple Being.

Personnel: Ommudra Thomas Arabia: tenor saxophone; Petr Cancura: tenor and soprano saxophones, wood flute; Andrei Matorin: violin; Justin Purtill: bass; Nicole Rampersaud: trumpet and flugelhorn; Luis Rosa: alto saxophone; Stan Strickland: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, bass clarinet, and vocals; Nick Videen: alto saxophone; Rakalam Bob Moses: drums, piano, log drum, kalimba, water sounds, and squeaky door.

Title: Father's Day B'hash | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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CD/LP/Track Review
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