LAST CALL by Kabir Dalawari out now!!!

April 5, 2024  /  News


Produced by Matt Ulery

Featuring Dalawari, drums and compositions, with:
Kyle Brooks (alto saxophone), Chris Madsen (tenor saxophone), Joshua Achiron (guitar), Nicholas Olynciw (piano), Stephen Parisi Jr. (bass)

Available on all streaming and digital platforms

In a stirring follow-up to his 2022 debut Awareness (“tight and cellular, yet wide-open enough to springboard the quartet’s fanciful improvisations” – Chicago Tribune), drummer Kabir Dalawari is proud to present Last Call, alternating between quintet and sextet as he debuts a new book of kinetic original compositions. The album was produced by proliGic recording artist Matt Ulery, Dalawari’s former composition teacher at Loyola University, who played bass on Awareness and now cedes that function to the talented Stephen Parisi Jr.

“I’ve always been drawn to ensembles with piano and guitar together,” Dalawari states. “Joshua Achiron (guitar) and Nicholas Olynciw (piano) made this vision of mine a reality. It’s rare to Gind instrumentalists who play at such a high level while respecting each other’s harmonic space.” Kyle Brooks, making a return appearance on alto sax, “is my longest-running musical collaborator,” Dalawari adds, “and when writing this music he was the Girst to come to my mind. Chris Madsen, on tenor, is a staple of the Chicago jazz scene who has served as an inspiration and mentor, and we’ve recently become good friends. I’m very grateful to feature him on three tracks.”

The rhythmic and melodic nuance in Dalawari’s writing is clear from the start of the leadoff title track. Powerful even when he’s not playing, Dalawari lays out completely as Madsen begins to build his solo. By the end it’s the drummer soloing, in an unaccompanied feature that serves as a segue to the funky uptempo “Detached.” On gigs, these two pieces are conjoined and played as a suite, their subject matter integrally linked. “‘Last Call’ symbolizes my decision to let go of certain relationships that were holding me back in both my personal and musical development,” Dalawari reveals. “The melody and harmonic choices emphasize that through the cyclic and meditative three-bar phrases, it’s as if I’m calling to someone and they aren’t receptive to what I have to say.”

Achiron slides in a wholly serendipitous quote from Debussy’s Clair de Lune on “For Ma,” just one of many examples of the deep resourcefulness these players can harness at any time. Parisi’s solo bass intro sets up a performance Gilled with vivid, lilting lyricism. The subtle recurring groove transitions and bracing piano and guitar solos of “Consciousness” give it a visceral appeal.

Dalawari explains “Turbulence” as “inspired by a plane ride to Japan. The pedal point in the middle that inspired the metric modulation was an accidental Finale input that I very much liked and committed to. The metric modulations and tempo changes represent turbulence on a plane, or in our minds.” Achiron’s curiously lingering solo guitar moment at the end seems apt, as the program proceeds with the beautiful guitar-led waltz “Imposter Syndrome,” before concluding with the brief and enigmatic “Outerlude.”

Dalawari approaches music in part from the perspective of someone versed in neuroscience, given his collegiate focus on Jazz Studies and Cognitive Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Add to that the kind of broadminded musicianship fostered by the Chicago scene, an epicenter of jazz exploration from the music’s beginnings. “I absolutely love Chicago,” the drummer declares. “Chicago is a family with no shortage of creativity, inclusiveness and mentorship.”

The Chicago scene also values genre versatility, Dalawari adds, affording players the chance to play many different types of gigs over the span of a month. As he takes it all in, expanding his interests and abilities at a rapid pace, Dalawari has risen to become one of Chicago’s vital representatives as he continues his spirited musical journey.