A professional at juxtaposing contemporary carvings with classic jazz motifs, singer/pianist/composer Mark Moultrup is an ubiquitous artist who likes to indulge his creative whims and his inclination for traditional stylizing on his latest recording, Dar Cho. Produced and arranged by Moultrup, Dar Cho wedges progressive odd-time signatures beside standard metronomes and tubes counter-melodies alongside main themes. The outcome is a clover leaf pattern of lines with some flying over the focal point while others cut below as instrument parts move in a succession of orderly traffic. Moultrup keeps the numbers tastefully versed as multi-colored sequences are attached, layered and intermingled into a mix of avant concepts and traditional moldings using their close proximity to produce a lighthearted ambience.
Performing with Moultrup on the recording are George Fludas on drums, Rodney Whitaker on bass, John Wojciechowski on saxophone, Kurt Sweitz on arco bass, Michael Levin on flute, and Ernie Adams on percussion. Each track is individually tailored and showcases another facet of Moultrup’s talent to produce pulsating harmonies. His versatility is vast from the classic leanings of “Come Fly With Me” to the balmy, Latin flavored “Corcovado” and the trippy jazz atmospherics of “Burger In The Bush.” Shellac in scat vocals and pivoting grooves, “I Know It’s Only Bebop” brings out Moultrup’s affinity for traditional jazz components, which takes a giant leap in “When Then Was Now” wicked by an experimental-bent in the flickering embers. The soft blazes illuminating “Of A Dream” and “Ted’s Last Song” permeate a contemplative mood, which turn up the activity dial a few notches in the springy grooves of “Avant Garlic” and “What About” stocked in jiggling horns and soft flouncing keys. Levin’s flute in “Good Will In The Wind” decorates the melody with a flowery décor while Adam’s soft percussive beating gives the tune a bouncy tremble in the undercurrent. The melodic phrasing is dulcet and palliative.
From bebop and classic jazz models to trippy-ambient jazz properties, Moultrup’s breadth is widespread and demonstrates a tendency to explore new terrain. Moultrup has been a very active member of the jazz community founding the Petoskey Jazz Festival in Petoskey, Michigan and conducting music clinics for a number of years. As a performer for over 30 years with touring credits that includes venues throughout the USA, Europe, South and Central America, and the Caribbean, Mark Moultrup knows no boundaries when it comes to making music. He displays the best of his writing, performing and arranging on Dar Cho as he blares good-will from every corner, which is what “dar cho” means to the Himalayan culture, the origin of the phrase.