Danilo Parra tells ‘The Unknown Story of Kalaparusha’

I spotted Danilo Parra’s film a while back on the Guardian website and was blown away. It was in the shadow of Steve Reid passing away and I was moved by the plight of a generation of great musicians in danger of dying in poverty. Seventy four year old horn player Maurice McIntyre , best known as Kalaparusha, is the subject of this documentary, and one such musician. Though he did play with Miles I know his music from the Chicago AACM avante garde scene and here we find him, in the company of two bassists and drummer, recording what he claims will be his last LP. Basically, it sounds great – deep, resonant, spiritual jazz. Upon hearing the finished disc it prompted the horn player to reflect on how much he sounds like Coltrane. I contacted Danilo to thank him for making this film and he’d heard that Kalaparusha’s horn had been stolen while busking on the subway, threatening his ability to survive. The film doesn’t shy away from revealing that Kalaparusha has a drug habit to support and we a get a 2011 taste of the “Jazz Life” – a hard, destructive life – that was experienced by generations of users from Bird to Chet Baker to Coltrane. An aged horn player without a horn – that’s bad, very bad, so I’m hoping its been replaced and the release of the album is imminent ’cause it should, rightfully, get him some live bookings.

PS: I’ll keep you posted… or of you have any news hit me back!

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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5 Responses to Danilo Parra tells ‘The Unknown Story of Kalaparusha’

  1. A short note: Looks like Kalaparusha’s album – ‘Closeness’ – is still in the can & Danilo’s web site is http://www.danilop.com/

  2. Pingback: The Unknown Story of Kalaparusha | Fly Global Music

    • Paul Brad says:

      Greetings …a correction… Danilo Parra (not Danilo Perez!) … is young film maker… NYC & 23 years old or sumpn like that! Alhttps://ancienttofuture.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-forml good with you?

  3. danilo parra says:

    Hey it’s Danilo here. Thanks for posting the film on your inspiring blog. It’s nice to here commentary and opinion from someone who knows about his music and history of jazz. To be honest, I didn’t know much about him and the jazz scene in Chicago/New York, but it was a great experience to hang out with someone like him with his unique and purely preserved personality that reflects his time period and era. My favorite part about hanging out with him was when I realized that he is a dying breed of person and had a personality unaffected by modern day society and technology. My most recent interaction with him, I found that he had a new horn and continues to play. But I haven’t spoken with him in 6 months so I’m not sure about his current status. Anyways, thanks again for sharing this…ciao


    • Paul Brad says:

      Hi Danilo … great to hear from you and most happy to hear that the man is once more with horn. I know what you mean about guys like Kalaparusha – they are of a time but their spirit is both deep and generous. I’ve decided I’m gonna catch up on people like him if they pass through London town. Nice to see you’re building up your site… I’ll keep an eye on it. Take it easy.

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