143

Makanda Ken McIntyre: A New Beginning

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Makanda Ken McIntyre: A New Beginning Saxophonist Ken McIntyre always had a thing about vision. His early records Looking Ahead, Open Horizon, and Chasing the Sun made explicit reference to his fascination with perspective, and his music has likewise reflected this focus. The ironically-titled A New Beginning marks McIntyre's last work as a leader—he died in July, 2001—and it's a logical step forward for an artist who never received the recognition (or the opportunities to record) that he deserved.

A New Beginning plays both sides of the coin, presenting a fairly straightforward hard bop rhythm section juxtaposed against McIntyre's expansive reed adventures. The twelve tunes on this record offer him opportunities to stretch out at length on the alto saxophone and flute, plus other reed instruments. With a variety of moods and feels, they emphasize melody and coherence.

That structure makes it all the more exciting when McIntyre steps out, as he does on alto with the opener, "Black Sugar Cane." His woody tone, rhythmic unpredictability, and bird-like flights reveal an unpretentious sense of discovery. When McIntyre switches to flute, his approach changes dramatically: he offers gossamer lines of fragile melody, paying more attention to delineating the turning points than mining the depths of a given phrase or mood.

The rhythm section on A New Beginning plays a solid supporting role, particularly Wilber Morris's deliberate foundation-laying work on the bass. But the main reason to check out this record is McIntyre himself. The mix on A New Beginning occasionally falls short, and the piano slips into the background more than it should, but that's a relatively minor problem. By the time this group wraps up the title track closer (with strong solo work by the group and McIntyre's understated melodicisim on bass clarinet), you'll wish there was more.

Visit Passin' Thru Records on the web and read Kenny Mathieson's AAJ McIntyre retrospective.


Track Listing: Black Sugar Cane; Evolvement; Breadfruit; Witch's Brew; Another Look; Monk & Trane; Toy Rugs; Joyous Remembrance; Smile; Sonny; Tomorrow? Tonight!; A New Beginning.

Personnel: Makanda Ken McIntyre: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, oboe, flute, and bassoon; Joanne Brackeen: piano; Wilber Morris: bass; Charli Persnip: drums.

| Record Label: Passin' Thru Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Warp" CD/LP/Track Review Warp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Lubbock (on everything)" CD/LP/Track Review Lubbock (on everything)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Cosmic Nickelodeon" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Nickelodeon
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Breathe" CD/LP/Track Review Breathe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!