Ken McIntyre – Stone Blues / Looking Ahead / Honi Gordon Sings – 2CD
Composer and instrumentalist Ken McIntyre (1931-2001) was one of the least forbidding of the wave of young musicians involved in the so-called 1960s “new thing.”
Although his music reflected the jazz avant garde’s total emotional commitment, he never discarded the more conventional jazz structures or forms while embracing the unexpected and unpredictable. And if his incendiary alto solos developed over fixed harmonic lines, they shared the same aesthetic motivations as those of Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman.
A technically competent flautist, he could also deliver valid, always interesting ideas. Like McIntyre, his four colleagues on the first album, Stone Blues, were Bostonians, all virtually unknown. But they had been together for a while before recording and were very sympathetic to his music.
Made a month later with the premier talents of Eric Dolphy, Walter Bishop, Sam Jones and Art Taylor, Looking Ahead marked McIntyre’s debut release as leader with a gripping session giving a revelatory insight into the forces motivating McIntyre and Dolphy. The combustible front line benefited from Bishop’s consistently fine piano and the work of Jones and Taylor.
The third album here, Honi Gordon Sings, introduced a new singer backed by an impeccable rhythm section: guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Ed Shaughnessy. McIntyre and pianist Jaki Byard, not players one would expect on a vocal album, were the major soloists on a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating set.
1. Stone Blues (McIntyre) - 11:44 2. Cornballs (McIntyre) - 4:21 3. Blanche (McIntyre) - 6:00 4. Mellifluous (McIntyre) - 7:13 5. Smax (McIntyre) - 5:07 6. Charshee (McIntyre) - 4:38 7. I’ll Close My Eyes (Reid-Kaye) - 5:21 8. Lautir (McIntyre) - 4:02 9. Curtsy (McIntyre) - 5:51 10. Geo.’s Tune (Howard) - 7:13
1. They All Laughed (G. & I. Gershwin) - 5:07 2. Head Shakin’ (McIntyre) - 10:46 3. Dianna (McIntyre) - 9:06 4. Strollin’ (Gordon-Mingus) - 4:33 5. Ill Wind (You’re Blowing Me No Good) (Arlen-Koehler) - 2:27 6. My Kokomo (Gordon) - 5:16 7. Why Try to Change Me Now? (Coleman-McCarthy) - 4:56 8. Cupid (Leonard-Gordon) - 3:19 9. Walkin’ Out the Door (Williams) - 3:07 10. Why (Moorehead) - 3:24 11. Love Affair (Leonard-Gordon) - 3:40 12. Lament of the Lonely (Edwards) - 2:42
CD 1 tracks #1-7, from the album "Stone Blues" (New Jazz NJLP8259)
CD 1 tracks #8-10 and CD 2 tracks #1-3 from the album "Looking Ahead" (New Jazz NJLP8247)
CD 2 tracks #4-12, from the album "Honi Gordon Sings" (Prestige LP7230)
Personnel on "Stone Blues":
John Mancebo Lewis (trombone) , Ken McIntyre (alto sax (#1,2,5 & 7), flute (#3,4 & 6)) , Dizzy Sal (piano) , Paul Morrison (bass) , Bobby Ward (drums & percussion)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on May 31, 1960
Personnel on "Looking Ahead":
Ken McIntyre (alto sax, flute) , Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute & bass-clarinet) , Walter Bishop, Jr. (piano) , Sam Jones (bass) , Art Taylor (drums)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on June 28, 1960
Personnel on "Honi Gordon Sings":
Honi Gordon (vocals) , Ken McIntyre (alto sax, flute) , Jaki Byard (piano) , Wally Richardson (guitar) , George Duvivier (bass) , Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on March 23, 1962
Original recordings supervised by Esmond Edwards
Cover design: Don Schlitten & Esmond Edwards
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
"This early effort by Ken McIntyre (who doubles here on alto and flute) grows in interest with each listen. On a couple of his six originals (including a song called "Cornballs"), McIntyre slide humorously between notes but other selections are much more serious. McIntyre's sidemen are now somewhat obscure (trombonist John Mancebo Lewis, pianist Dizzy Sal, bassist Paul Morrison and drummer Bobby Ward) but they fit well into his conception which at this early stage was essentially advanced bop slightly influenced by the "new thing" music of Ornette Coleman."
"It was quite fitting that Ken McIntyre had an opportunity to record in a quintet with Eric Dolphy, for his multi-instrumental approach was similar to Dolphy's, although he always had a very different sound. On this CD reissue, McIntyre plays alto on four tunes and flute on two others (his work on bassoon, oboe, and bass clarinet would come slightly later), while Dolphy mostly plays alto but doubles on flute on one number and switches to bass clarinet for "Dianna." With pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor offering concise solos and swinging support, McIntyre somehow almost holds his own with Dolphy on a variety of originals and George Gershwin's "They All Laughed." A very interesting date."
-Honi Gordon Sings
"Honi Gordon's obscurity (this was her only recording as a solo singer) is a mystery for she displays a great deal of talent on this date. Her father George Gordon wrote some of the tricky lyrics (which are phrased like a horn) and Honi (who is given stimulating support by pianist Jaki Byard, Ken McIntyre on flute and alto, guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Ed Shaughnessy) is up to the job. Her version of Charles Mingus's "Strollin'" is definitive, she finds something new to say on "Ill Wind" and really digs into the originals. This is bop-based jazz singing at its best."
All three reviews by Scott Yanow - All Music Guide