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A New Beginning

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Album Review

Multi-instrumentalist, musicologist, and educator Makanda Ken McIntyre led his last recording session on September 18, 1999, playing flute, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, and alto saxophone with pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Wilber Morris, and drummer Charlie Persip. McIntyre, who wrote all 12 of the pieces realized on that day, left more than 400 compositions and one-dozen albums recorded over a span of 40 years. In keeping with the textural versatility of this artist's recorded output, there are reflective moods, friendly romps, and beatific studies ("Evolvement," "Witch's Brew," "Another Look," and "A New Beginning"); searching lyrical improvisations ("Black Sugar Cane," "Monk & Trane," "Toy Rugs," "Tomorrow? Tonight!") and rhythmic dances suffused with Caribbean rhythms ("Breadfruit," "Smile," and "Sonny," which is clearly a respectful portrait of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.) Brackeen, Morris and Persip interact wonderfully with the composer and multi-instrumentalist on what turned out to be his final gift to the world.

A New Beginning, Makanda Ken McIntyre
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