Sam Newsome (Opinion/Editorial)
Chosen as one of the "Rising Stars" of the soprano saxophone in this year's 54th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll, Mr. Newsome has already established himself as a leading voice on the instrument having released eight CDs as a leader
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Chosen as one of the “Rising Stars” of the soprano saxophone in this year’s 54th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll, Mr. Newsome has already established himself as a leading voice on the instrument having released eight CDs as a leader and over 30 as a sideman.
Mr. Newsome spent his first five years in New York as the featured tenor saxophonist with the Terence Blanchard Quintet in the early nineties, with whom he traveled throughout the world performing at many of the major clubs and jazz festivals from New York to Tokyo. Mr. Newsome’s debut recording Sam I Am (Criss Cross Records), recorded when he was only 24 years old, was selected by the New York Times as one of the Top Ten Jazz Albums of the Year.
In mid-decade, Mr. Newsome made the liberating switch to the soprano saxophone and founded a band featuring musicians playing exotic instruments from around the world. Together they brewed up their own brand of cross-cultural jazz. Their 1999 debut album Sam Newsome & Global Unity (Columbia/Sony Records) was chosen by Billboard as one of the Top Ten Jazz CDs of the Year. Mr. Newsome’s follow up 2001 release Global Unity (Palmetto) also received much critical acclaim.
In 2007, Mr. Newsome’s latest artistic endeavor is composing and performing new music for solo saxophone. He has already received several grants from Meet The Composer, the Jerome Composers Commissioning Program (JCCP) and the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) to write new works exploring the depths of solo saxophone, which he will begin premiering in the fall of 2007. Please check out his debut solo saxophone CD Monk Abstractions (SomeNew Music), which takes the listener on a saxophone-centric journey through the music of Thelonious Monk.
Review quotes for “Monk Abstractions” CD
“Sam Newsome’s Monk Abstractions is a jazz album that showcases one artist’s superb skill on the soprano sax.” - Sari N. Kent, TheCelebrityCafe.com
“If you enjoy the sounds of the soprano sax pushed to new limits, this is the CD for you! - Xavier P., RadioIndy.com
“Newsome expands the sound of a single soprano saxophone into a one man band.” – Mark Corroto, All About Jazz