Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre & The Light

The Moment

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On The Moment, founding AACM sax player Kalaparush is accompanied by a much younger (and quite able) rhythm section formed of tuba player Jesse Dulman and drummer Ravish Momin. The tuba is a paradoxical instrument in jazz. Notoriously difficult to play and a lot less flexible than the double bass, it nevertheless conveys a sense of joy and fun like no other instrument. What you lose in precision (listen to Dulman's solo introduction to "Irene Calypso") you gain in momentum and festive spirit. Which means that The Moment works best in the fast-paced, groovy numbers and gets precarious in slower, more introspective tunes like "I Don't Have an Answer, Unless It's God." Kalaparush plays his horn AACM style, with spirit, fire, grace, and a strong melodic sense. Recorded on November 30, 2001, at Entropy Studios, in front of a small but appreciative audience, this live set begins with "Hangin' By a Threadgil" (obviously dedicated to Henry Threadgill), a lively piece that immediately establishes how well Kalaparush has aged and how much fun he's having playing with younger cats. But the undisputed highlight of the album is "Big Coltrane Indian Man," a ferocious tune in which Momin gets a feature spot and literally brings the house down. His polyrhythmic playing borrows something from the frenzy of a tabla player without ever leaving the jazz realm. His drums propel the trio to a peak of excitement that is alone worth the price of admission. One wishes that Kalaparush's on-stage banter had been better recorded or left out, since one can barely make out his words, but otherwise this is one of the great jazz albums of 2003.

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