Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre & the Light: South Eastern (2002)
Ceasing a long hiatus from recording with a date for Delmark in late 1997 as part of the Bright Moments ensemble, Kalaparush seemed on the verge of a much belated renascence. Two sessions for CIMP followed, the first as leader in 1999 and the second as a member of Luther Thomas’ Quintet in 2000. Sadly all three efforts failed to fan awareness of his art much beyond the niche of a small, but dedicated audience. His sophomore effort at the helm for CIMP seeks similar ingress into larger circles of listenership and if there’s any justice he will succeed in this new foray.
McIntyre survives as one of the few musicians still active who were present at the birth of the AACM in Chicago during the latter half of the Sixties. This alone substantiates his doyen-like standing in Great Black Music. Speaking further volumes to both his passion and his tenacity, he’s continued striving for personal and musical enlightenment, all the while weathering bouts of critical lassitude and individual hardship. A lanky, effusive tone on tenor, at times akin to that of Frank Lowe, and a predilection for phrasings that are at once ropy and billowy mark McIntyre’s modus most of the time, but he can turn acerbic when the mood strikes him. Abolishing register restraints on the trio’s titular track he slides easily from churlish throaty gusts that scrape the lower reaches to more melodious strands that sing through the higher pitches of his sax. Dulman commemorates the early role of his instrument in jazz ensembles as a brass surrogate for bass, but also refracts the influence of more modern stylists like the ill-fated Ray Draper through his own creative monocle. His belt-busting girth on “Baby Babasin” perfectly captures the bodily bulk of the tune’s dedicatee as he blurts out corpulent notes around which the drummer’s rhythms skitter and dart. In concert with Momin’s peripatetic sticks the horns create a surprisingly spacious blending of sonic vernaculars.
Several of McIntyre’s tune titles err on the loquacious side, but the musical candy beneath their elaborate wrappers is near uniformly sweet to eat. The swaying certainty of “My Girl Comes to See Me All the Time” is but one example where a shuffle beats support an oscillating melodic volley between tuba and tenor. One truth stands self evident in the final wash of these tonally rich tracks. McIntyre’s light of inspiration is far from extinguished- he will continue to burn the midnight lamp for all those seeking succor from all that is mendacious in music.
Track Listing: Boston Baked Beans – Florida Sam – The Seminole/ MMMAHJAE/ Baby Babasin/ Arrival of the Midnight Sun/ Antoinette/ Antoinette- take 2/ Kalaparush and The Light/ My Girl Comes to See Me All the Time/ Respectful Anarchy/ Homeless Alcoholic Female Vietnam Vet Who Once Played Sax/ Big John Coltrane – Indian Man/ Boston Baked Beans – Florida Sam – The Seminole- take 4.
Personnel: Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre- tenor saxophone, voice; Jesse Dulman- tuba; Ravish Momin- drums. Recorded: May 29 & 30, 2001, Rossie, NY.