“A Moment in Time”
The music of drummer-composer Kabir Dalawari is informed not only by jazz but also by cognitive psychology, both of which he studied while earning a master’s degree at Loyola University in Chicago. So it’s fitting that he’d weave his knowledge of neuroscience into the original compositions comprising his debut recording, Awareness (self-released). Dalawari’s interest in the field may have been inspired by his younger brother, who is autistic and for whom the album’s title track was written. Dipping into the vital Chicago jazz scene that nurtured him, the drummer leads a sterling quartet featuring alto saxophonist Kyle Brooks, pianist Eric Arroyo and bassist Matt Ulery, the latter of whom was his composition teacher. The album’s opening track, “A Moment in Time,” begins with Brooks’ edgy unaccompanied solo sounding a fanfare of sorts. With the addition of the rhythm section, the tune is, by turns, exuberant, contemplative and fretful, its various time signatures and colors shifting with the mood. Unsurprisingly, Dalawari relates in the album notes, he wrote the song about his early efforts in composing, and certainly it reflects the joy, anguish and hard work that accompanied his first forays. Ultimately, the song reaches a quietly ebullient conclusion, as the drummer celebrates the satisfaction that comes with mastering new skills. And certainly, he has plenty to celebrate, as evidenced by the original compositions that make up his auspicious debut.