Liner notes by Tim Price
Every now and then an artist emerges who combines a profound respect for the state of jazz past and present, with the ability to add something of his own to that art form. Such is the talent of Makanda Ken McIntyre.
His music is heroic and sublime, and all things in between. Makanda is one of the real deal jazz educators who paid his due on the bandstand playing with the likes of Eric Dolphy and Cecil Taylor. His multi-woodwind playing and improvising abilities possess a quality that revitalizes jazz. Makanda takes risks in the music that always produce startling yet accessible results.
The music on this CD is a speculative excursion that grows from the artist's uncompromising persistence to produce something of a personal as well as spiritual nature. I listen intensely as a rapt participant and as an artist, first receiving the music the music and letting it wash over me, and then projecting myself into the music, evaluating not just what I was hearing but also my own artistic aesthetic. I don't ever turn those filters off - which is why I love to hear great musicians make music. By listening to others I keep my learning channels open. Something that separates this music from much that is available today is that it is pure. This is Makanda's story. His vision. The creative essence of what he's about.
I have been a long time fan of the musical directions Makanda has traveled. His music always revealed itself in a gala of spontaneous color and inner essence. He is a one of a kind innovator with deep roots.
The same can be said of pianist Joanne Brackeen. She is one of the most passionate and brilliant pianists on today's scene. Her ability to play any tempo is amazing, and her coherency as a ballad player is always a work of high art. The pulse of sound and time, feel and instrumental expression is inspiring. This is an excellent addition to her extensive discography. Joanne is an artist of the highest quality and a supreme creative force.
The buoyancy and brimming energy that is created here is special. Charli Persip on drums adds a special dimension to Makanda's music. Wilber Morris is, in my mind, a first call master bassist. He gets to the core of the music at hand and brings a special gift. I have always loved his bass sound. Fascinating.
I can only say that this recording indicates that Makanda Ken McIntyre is on his way to becoming one of the major jazz figures as we listen. His message is of a multi-directional nature and his music is constantly evolving. The proof is on the recording. This is a totally absorbing album. Listen to Makanda's message intently, it is.