Review by Frank Rubelino
Ken McIntyre, who died on 6/13/01, was a favorite of mine since I first heard him with Dolphy on the 1960 recording Looking Ahead. On A New Beginning he had an open highway for zipping along or just cruising with his excellent team of pianist Brackeen, bassist Morris, and drummer Persip. No recording date is given, but it was previously issued on CAAMO Records. McIntyre held court on alto, bass clarinet, oboe, flute, and bassoon, displaying his wide breadth of improvising skills on each of the reeds. The program alternates among up-tempo speedsters, lovely ballads, and Caribbean rhythm pieces. McIntyre was a master at handling the slower paced tunes while still providing excitement through his commanding style. Brackeen brings a touch of fire and a bit of finesse to the session. She builds a foundation for McIntyre, and her dancing solos add zest to the program. Morris and Persip are solid behind the band, which clicks as a unit on the dozen McIntyre compositions. McIntyre is equally impressive on all horns, although his mystical bass clarinet cuts are most alluring. On bassoon, he is fluid and melodic, while probing the depth of the low-pitched woodwind. The entire set is an enjoyable romp that holds interest through the mastery shown by McIntyre and the congealing nature of the quartet.