JULIAN McINTOSH: MUSIC MAN ON A MISSION
By Egbert Gaye
Over the years, Julian McIntosh has been known to stir up plenty of emotions with his music around Montreal. He has been to many cities around the world, from the Caribbean to North America thrilling audiences.
From that vantage point he has observed "a vacant place on the global stage waiting to be filled by Caribbean music."
He says it's long overdue for musicians from the region to start packaging and marketing their rhythms and lyrics to expectant audiences around the world. "I've seen it, on so many occasions, playing to tens of thousands of people who are very appreciative of Caribbean music from calypso to reggae," says the St. Vincent bom sax virtuoso, who has been playing professionally before he was a teenager. that's out there." Mclntosh says that's why only mainstream promoters are benefiting from Caribbean music and culture. They put on Caribbean themed events, hire a few musicians and caterers and make big bucks." That's why he has decided that he isn't waiting for anyone, anymore to push his music. He is going to do as much as he can for himself.
So armed with his first full length CD, "Rosita", McIntosh is letting people of every race, creed and class know that he is out there and making sweet music. And true to form, McIntosh uses ten songs, all written and arranged by himself with assistance from local hot-shot producer, Brian Quaye, to show his versatility. His saxophone is in the back- ground, his singing is on display. The CD covers a spectrum of beats and moods. It includes calypso, reggae and some fusion and is aimed directly at the hearts of music lovers. For those who are into Caribbean music, his name is an instant drawing card, coming from a household of respected musicians: Everyone from his grandfather to his father and brother are master music men.
His cousin, Frankie McIntosh is a highly touted calypso composer and arranger who is also well respected in the USA for his orchestration skills in jazz and classics. Julian, who joined his first band when he 12, and Frankie both attended the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the late 1960s. Julian then moved to Montreal in the 1970s while playing on the music circuit. In the early days it was mostly American music and with his saxophone dripping soul, so much like the great King Curtis, work and popularity came easily.
He has come full circle, and is just as high on Caribbean music. He remains on the circuit, this time, with his band Thunderbolts playing in various functions across the province. This CD is particularly special for him.It is dedicated to his recently departed wife, Sylvia, with whom he sat for hours every day for four years, during her lengthy illness.That was when he wrote the songs. Mcintosh hopes to get the CD out across North America, Europe, and of course, the Caribbean.
In Montreal, it is available at various community outlets. A big launch is planned in the Spring or early summer of 2004. For info on the Cd call (514) 696-9593.