Mark Moultrup – Dar Cho

Mark Moultrup
Dar Cho
Mark Moultrup – 2009

Dar Cho Mark Moultrup’s latest offering is a 13 song collection of 10 original compositions and three classic standards. Stylistically unique, even though the ensemble is not unusual in instrumentation, it is uniquely versatile, harmonically and texturally so original that truly, they cannot be compared to any other ensemble. Mark is the special ingredient to this unique ensemble sound. His ability to meld elements of jazz with a classical flavoring, and then spice it up with funky concepts and swinging Rhythms creates a harmonically adventurous exploration of many improvisational landscapes. The vocals also serve as an important improvisational color, especially when scatting in unison with the piano.

The meaning behind the title of his latest release is a Tibetan word for “Prayer Flag” “Dar” means to increase life, fortune, health and wealth. “Cho” means all sentient beings. Prayer flags have been a part of Himalayan culture for thousands of years. The flags do not carry prayers to ‘Gods’, a common misconception. Rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread good will and compassion into all pervading space, thereby brining benefit to all. It is Moultrup’s intention that this music will do the same.

Dar Cho is sprinkled with odd time signatures, rich modern harmonic structures, extended compositions and countless examples of Moultrup’s command on the piano. His ability to switch gears from piano cuts to vocal cuts is again a testament to his versatility in multi-disciplines. These examples are continuously exhibited by the varying genres contained within Dar Cho and Moultrup’s uncanny ability to deliver each with a balance between authenticity and innovation; this is the key element that catapults this release to its higher purpose.