A New Beginning

CAAMO Records (2000) A New Beginning
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Track listing: Black Sugar Cane; Evolvement; Breadfruit; Witch's Brew; Another Look; Monk And Trane; Toy Rugs; Joyous Remembrance; Smile; Sonny; Tomorrow? Tonight!; A New Beginning

Personnel: MAKANDA KEN MCINTYRE (flute, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); JOANNE BRACKEEN (piano); WILBER MORRIS (bass); CHARLI PERSIP (drums)

Review by Jerry D'Souza

McInytre had some interesting records on Prestige in the sixties and a couple for United Artists before he, like many other American musicians, decided to move to Europe. Steeplechase gave him the room to record and he came up with albums of mixed blessing. McIntyre then went into education, putting his musical career on hold. Always under-rated, his recognizeable claim to fame was having played with Eric Dolphy. This album, his first in ten years, could have been the precursor of a rejuventated career, but sadly the title proved to be less than prophetic. McIntyre died shortly before the album was released.

McIntyre, who composed all the tunes, has a wide-ranging approach. His writing is chock full of energy that opens up avenues for open-ended improvisation and interesting key changes. He can go from swing to yowl, tempering the two with a linear bridge. He adds diversity by snuggling in a Caribbean beat, most particularly on the catchy "Breadfruit" with its sprinkling of blues and a shake of funk. And he pulls it all in with a compelling ballad that cuts deep into the melody on "Evolvement."

The band, with Joanne Brackeen on piano, Wilbur Morris on bass, and Charli Persip on drums, helping in giving the music impetus. Brackeen in particular is energetic, effervescent, and her cup of ideas is filled to the brim. She builds delightful harmonic landscapes on her solos, constantly drawing the listening into the cocoon of her invention.

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