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Kalaparush and The Light: Morning Song & The Moment


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With this latest incarnation of The Light, the moniker bestowed on most of reedman Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre's ensembles over the years, the sparse moodiness of AACM "little instruments" and side-long suites has been replaced by a more ebullient and lyrical spirituality contained in a crack tenor-tuba-drums trio. This particular version of The Light was formed as a result of Kalaparush meeting tubaist Jesse Dulman in the subway in 2001, where the latter is a regular fixture.

Kalaparush and The Light
Morning Song

One would think that the tuba, as it is often a bottom-end instrument in the orchestra, is just a fancy way of replacing the bass in the ubiquitous sax-drums-bass trio. A more apt comparison might be that the tuba is playing a similar role to the bass in post-Bill Evans piano trios, as a conversationalist as well as rhythmic support. Whereas in those rare incarnations of twin saxophone-drums trios, the other wind instrument provides conversation without rhythmic or chordal support, the tuba can provide both and floats in and out of either role with ease. Dulman is a technician of astounding facility, pulling moves akin to its upper-register brass cousins, often taking Kalaparush's phrases as the jumping-off points for his own equally robust solos. Yet the difficulty with which the tuba must be manhandled is, on occasion, used to advantage by Dulman: his solo on "Morning" is a thorny patch of guttural smears and whoops, coming on the heels of lickety-split solos by drummer Ravish Momin and Kalaparush. As for the leader, the paucity of recordings and the detrimental effect that truly collective music has on defining an individual voice makes these recordings a blessing for both the familiar and the new listener, as Kalaparush's tenor cuts through loud and clear, a raw gutbucket with an earthy, gruff edge that recalls Clifford Jordan and Johnny Griffin rather than Coltrane and Dexter. On Morning Song , unadulterated Kalaparush appears in the form of a gorgeous solo tenor outing, "In My Morning Song," segueing effortlessly into the funky trio track "Noon."

Kalaparush and The Light
The Moment
2003 (2001)

Whereas most of the compositions on Morning Song are brief, cutting off around the five-minute mark (with the exception of the thirteen-minute "Morning"), The Moment , as a live recording, features somewhat longer forays that allow the trio to stretch out and avoid the blending-together quality that an album full of shorts ( Morning Song included) often lapses into. This particular recording was recorded in 2001, shortly after the group came together and two years prior to the Delmark release. Dulman sounds somewhat more deferential here and the collectivity that pervades Morning Song is slightly diminished on this outing. The rawer recording quality certainly helps Kalaparush's already sandblasted tenor sound, but the tuba comes through somewhat muddy and indistinct by comparison (see the intro to "Irene Calypso"). Nevertheless, the extended soloing that takes place is strong—Kalaparush sounds in even finer form the more room he is given—and absolutely cooks on the opening "Hangin' by a Threadgil" and "Big John Coltrane Indian Man." All in all, this is a solid, rollicking date that shows the rough edges of what will become a tightly-knit group fabric.

Kalaparush and The Light
Paths to Glory

Joined by bassist-composer Adam Lane on Paths to Glory , Kalaparush & The Light become a different ensemble altogether. Whereas on previous recordings Dulman's tuba offered both melodic and rhythmic support, this plasticity is given to both bass and tuba on this fourth recording by the group. The program is not particularly different musically from other dates by the group, though two duets for tenor and bass open and close the disc: the hushed "Dream Of..." and a spirited reading of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation." Dulman is continually a force on his instrument, tailgating his way through "Date," one of the most burning pieces on the disc. Whether or not one likes CIMP's recording quality may affect appreciation of the interplay on this session; to this writer, both Lane and Kalaparush sounded under-miked (with the volume jacked up), while Dulman and Momin come through loud and clear.

Given these three recordings, The Light is one of the more unique groups of the past several years and show its leading firebrand to be as vital as ever. But the group itself is a revelation—despite a few pitfalls on the earlier recording, Dulman is an excellent voice on his instrument and is poised to become one of the lights of his instrument. Though falling somewhat far from the stereotypes that AACM-music has historically fallen into, Kalaparush and The Light are a high water mark in the advancement of creative music.

Morning Song

Tracks: 1. Here Comes the Light (7:19); 2. Let Us All Relax (4:00); 3. In My Morning Song (3:23); 4. Noon (3:23); 5. Place (3:46); 6. Against All Odds (5:36); 7. Mobo (5:35); 8. I Don't Have an Answer Unless It's God (4:42); 9. Morning (12:55); 10. Symphony No. 1 (6:10); 11. Evening (6:07).
Personnel: Jesse Dulman: Tuba; Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre: Tenor Saxophone; Ravish Momin: Drums.

The Moment

Tracks: 1. Hangin' By a Threadgil (10:59); 2. Antoinette (7:27); 3. Big John Coltrane Indian Man (10:34); 4. I Don't Have an Answer, Unless It's God (6:59); 5. Mama Jaaae (10:35); 6. Irene Calypso (10:50); 7. Dream Of... (7:45).
Personnel: Jesse Dulman: Tuba Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre: Tenor Saxophone; Ravish Momin: Drums.

Paths to Glory

Tracks: Dream Of...; Dance; Date; Suite for My Mother; Five #2; Five #1; Let Us All Relax; Confirmation.
Personnel: Jesse Dulman: Tuba Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre: Tenor Saxophone; Ravish Momin: Drums. Adam Lane: Bass.

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