Ra the words of Bob Moses: the drummer that shortens the way between heaven and earth

We can call it by many names. When this listener discovered him, as a teenager, he was recognized as the Lonesome Dragon in a surprising record that is not mentioned as one of the most important songs in jazz history due to his antics (it was the most errant UFO that wandered the skies of America at the end of the 1960s) and the fact that it was left in shades escalator over hill, simply because she repeated some numbers in her art manual – those of the amazing Gato Barbieri, to begin with. was the address Tong’s funeral is realthe protagonist in the performances was Gary Burton, a now retired vibraphone player, but the author was himself of those operas in which jazz, rock, folklore, experimental and poetry amalgamated (Paul Haines): Carla Bly.

The story goes that the said musician had “aesthetic differences” (that is, there was a quarrel, and he seemed very angry) with Carla Bley, he refused to have his given name appear on the album, and therefore a mysterious dragon was recorded in the records from jazz. He was really like Bob Moses who we saw grow in two very specific directions of the musical genre, the merger, with the band The Free Spirits, formed in half with Larry Coryell (found in Tong’s funeral is realby the way) and with Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius (he played in the main life size bright), and free, along with such notables as Paul Bley, George Gruntz, Sam Rivers, Burton Greene and Gunter Hampel, among many others. When he later began to lead his own projects, marked by his increasingly discovery of spirituality, he (was) like Ra Kalam. Which means, according to him, “the inaudible sound of the invisible sun.”

Well, it’s Ra Kalam “Lonesome Dragon,” Bob Moses, one of the greatest drummers ever on the creative music spectrum (who said it, with all the lyrics, it was Hermeto Pascoal), who we’re going to tour this month in Portugal, for concerts and workshops. In the formats you just read, make your mouth water: drum set with Pedro Melo Alves and Vasco Trilla, called Alma Tree, and solo. With the peculiarity of the case of Alma Tree live performances: there will always be guests. At ZDB (Lisbon) and Capricho Setubalense, on May 24 and 27, respectively, they will be saxophonists João Murtagua, Albert Serra and Wido Gibson. In the Porta-Jazz Room (Porto), on the 28th, the winds will be responsible for João Pedro Brandão, José Soares and Julius Gabriel. In Ermo do Caos (also Porto), on the 31st, a fourth was added to the three batteries, the João Pais Filipe battery. Solo performances will take place in Graciosa, in Lisbon, on the 26th, and in Solilucio do Porto, on the 29th.



It is enough to check the tracks of Pedro Melo Alves and Vasco Trilla to understand that what is at stake in these situations will be a stylistic reconciliation of jazz and rock (and also between contemporary music and freely improvised music, By the way) for all three skin and plate treatments. Milo Alves unleashed this osmosis of languages ​​in the projects The Rite of Trio, Omniae Large Ensemble, Conundrum, and Portugal-Catalan Trilla is an impromptu coming straight out of black metal, as evident in gang recordings Phicus and Low Vertigo and his associations as a duet with Ferran Figs and as a trio with Colin. Webster and Mishaw Demney.

For Moses, check what he did with Henry Kaiser (More from Requia), with this guitarist as well as Vinny Golia and Walter Weasel, of The Flying Luttenbachers (star plane crash) or with Darius Jones (Man’ish Boy), summarizing their collaborations with brothers Michael, Randy Bricker, Bill Friesel, John Schofield or more recently Vernon Reed, DJ Logic and John Medisky in order to conclude that the breadth of vocabulary would be enormous. By the way, this visitor is no stranger to the more radical improvisation in which we usually find Milo Alves and Terrilla (as well as Catalan Albert Serreira, Brazilian Yido Gibson and German Julius Gabriel), the trans and post-idiom, because there he also walks in the company of Damon Smith.

Ra Kalam is a free spirit, mystic of sounds, a shaman who, in addition to music, uses dance and poetry as an artistic expression, always trying to expand the areas in which he moves, believing that music lives in every moment of our lives. It lives, in our heads and in our bodies, whether we touch it, hear it or not. Always balancing strict discipline with uncompromising spontaneity, partying, yes, “but with purpose,” Jill Evans, the composer, arranger, and conductor who worked with Miles Davis, put it, and motivate him to put his ideas into action. To forge what is one of the most unique writings of our time. your album Moses story It has it all there, as we read in Jazz magazine, “blues, gospel, pop, concrete music, African juju, rock, funk, hip-hop, ballet, Latin and more”.



In the words of Bob Moses himself: “I can touch earthly things and I can touch air things. I am a drummer from heaven and I began as a drummer from earth.” He got that start, no more no less, with Roland Kirk, when he was still a child. In this, he followed the teachings of Charles Mingus, his teenage neighbor, whose father was a press officer and who taught him at the time. He says that the legendary guitarist repeatedly told him: “Bobby, you have to learn to play sloppy. You don’t want to be one of the white studio drummers.” In other words, teach that “if the music is too clean, it does not sound good”: “It becomes disinfectant. We have to preserve the human imperfection of music.”

If that’s what Moses was practicing as a musician, his life has been an uphill walk of personal improvement (and yes, that included making edits with Carla Bly and praising her music). Meeting Tesigi Muñoz, his mentor, was instrumental in the process. It was this mysterious character, older than Moses – who is now 73 years old – who was called Ra Kalam. Also a musician, unclassifiable guitarist, extreme and unique who lives like an ascetic and rarely appears in public, Muñoz has been or has been loved by jazz musicians like Rashid Ali, Pharoah Sanders and Dave Lippmann. What he taught them, and his closest disciple taught him, is the desire for more, to overcome our karma, to be free, and truly free. This astrologer, visionary and “master of time” argues that music must transcend its physicality, as a channel of energy that leads us into the unknown.

It wouldn’t be surprising that Ra Kalam Bob Moses, a being powered by light, would try to take Pedro Melo Alves, Vasco Trilla, and the other participants in these concerts, all much younger, to that other place, somewhere in the sky, that few were able to Boarding.


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