Ken McIntyre Trio

b. 7 September 1931, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 13 June 2001. McIntyre was born into a musical family (his father played mandolin) and took lessons in classical piano between 1940 and 1945. At the…
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Artist Biography

b. 7 September 1931, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 13 June 2001. McIntyre was born into a musical family (his father played mandolin) and took lessons in classical piano between 1940 and 1945. At the age of 19 he began alto saxophone lessons with Andrew McGhee, Gigi Gryce and Charlie Mariano. In 1954, he attended the Boston Conservatory, and after graduating with an MA in composition, he studied at Brandeis University for two years. He formed his own group in Boston and recorded his debut, Stone Blues, for the Prestige Records label in 1959. In 1960, he moved to New York and met Eric Dolphy, who played on his Looking Ahead in June of that year. Discouraged by the poor financial returns of the jazz life, McIntyre decided to make teaching his full-time profession. However, he continued to record, releasing The Years Of The Iron Sheep and Way, Way Out (the latter featuring his own flute, oboe, bass-clarinet and alto saxophone plus his arrangements for strings).

In 1964, McIntyre recorded with the Bill Dixon Septet, and in 1965, he played with the Jazz Composers Guild Orchestra. He was also in the Cecil Taylor group that recorded Unit Structures in 1966, a monumental work of intricate jazz modernism. Having taught in schools in New York, he obtained a post at Wilberforce University in Ohio between 1967 and 1969, and taught at the Wesleyan University for two years after that. Since 1971, he had been a director of the African-American Music and Dance Department at Old Westbury. The Danish label SteepleChase documented his playing and compositions on a series of five albums in the 70s, since when he played with Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, but made only one more recording under his own name (taken from a 1990 tribute concert to Dolphy, with French reeds player Thierry Bruneau). Although a less innovative talent than Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman, McIntyre’s work represented an equally valid extension of the music of Charlie Parker and often included elements of African-Caribbean music in recognition of the West Indian cultural heritage.