Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre
Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre is a multiple
reed specialist who has appeared throughout the world in festivals and clubs, at
colleges and universities, and on television and radio. His musical associations
have included performers such as Sam Rivers, Roscoe Mitchell, Howard Johnson,
Warren Smith, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jack DeJohnette, Edward Wilkerson, Jr.,
Anthony Braxton, LeRoy Jenkins, Dave Holland, Kahil El'Zabar and Leo Smith among
At the age of six months, or at least as old as his memory serves, Kalaparush has been listening to music. Actually, it was during this time that his parents took him from their Clarkville, Arkansas home to the southside of Chicago, where they moved into an apartment above Mr. Smith, a music teacher and musical instrument repairman. It was here that young Maurice first heard and later met the likes of Johnny Griffin and Sonny Stitt playing the music that was to become his life.
His parents, both professional people, insisted Kalaparush play an instrument. So, at seven years of age he chose drums. An early teacher squelched his ambition by telling him his wrists were too stiff for the "mommy/daddy" roll so important for the rudiments.
There was a two year hiatus before the keen fo resight of Kalaparush's parents insisted upon another instrument; this time the saxophone. Kalaparush explains what happened, "Every youngster was told he first had to learn on clarinet before sax. So, Mr. Smith gave me a steel clarinet, explaining that mastering the clarinet was paramount in achieving saxophone mastery.
Buying a sax on his own, Kalaparush played in school shows. In grammar school his athletically inclined father introduced him to football. "It became my major interest for the next sev en years", Kalaparush states. "It wasn't until I realized I wasn't getting any bigger than 160 pounds that I decided to dust off the sax". And the dust has never fallen on the horn since. From the age of 18 until today, the instrument and the music which emanates from it have been his entire being.
In 1963 he began playing a new kind of music; a music which was finding no real place in Chicago mainstream music. The people he playing with were anxious to get it heard. They formed what was to become one of the leading forces in contemporary music both in the U.S. and elsewhere. The creative music movement in Chicago was later to be best known by its initials, AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music).
Kalaparush first became interested in the music through playing it with his then roommates, Malachi Favors, and Roscoe Mitchell . Of this experience, Kalaparush states, "When you are woodsheddin' with your peers things begin to happen inside you. You realize you are different because you are a different individual and not because you strive to be different".
In 1966 members of the AACM recorded its first album for Delmark records entitled "Sound". Under the direction of reedist Mitchell, it featured Kalaparush, Lester Bowie (trumpet), Malachi Favors (bass), Lester Lashley (trombone), and drummer Alvin Fielder. Delmark was a pioneer in recording new music. Kalaparush also doubled working as a stock clerk so he could "be around to drop the cases and pick up my horn for a session", he reme mbers. One such session was a date with guitarist George Freeman of the famed Chicago Freeman clan: Von, Bruzz, and Chico. The album, released in 1967, was called "Birth Sign".
Kalaparush learned how to annotate his music while he attended Chicago Music College where he studied harmony, theory, and added to his comprehension of his horn. " Bebop was the thing to play," Kalaparush says. "But I wanted something different". By the time he got on the scene he was just another of scores of beboppers. "I pl ayed rhythm and blues to get myself together, all the time I was thinking that I wanted to start something, not follow the trend".
After a brief tenure with a group called the Jazz Merchants, Kalaparush played with Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band . It was there he realized there was something different to grab hold of. "At first I had no idea what I was playing while I was playing it, but I knew it would come to me. The course had been charted".
"Humility in the Light of the Creator" (1966) was Kalaparush's first album as a leader. It featured Leo Smith (trumpet), John Stubblefield (woodwinds), Malachi Favors, and Amina Claudine Meyers (piano). He began to play Europe's stages at the Berliner Jazztage in 1973 with a group led by Abrams. As a result of this concert, and having gained acclaim with the AACM in Chicago, he was invited back to Berlin for the 1976 Jazztage, this time as a l eader.
An important period in Kalaparush's life was spent in Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, N.Y.. He spent much time composing and teaching. Trio Records (Japan) recorded him there in the company of Berger, J ack DeJohnette, and Ing Rid.
Kalaparush believes music is the sound of a person. "If used properly, from an inner point, music could be the healing force of the universe". Kalaparush presently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., from which base he travels throughout the U.S. and the world. He spends what little time he has at home, and writing for his band. He keeps himself readily available for new ventures