514

Sam Newsome: Blue Soliloquy

By

Sign in to view read count
Sam Newsome: Blue Soliloquy Sam Newsome's Blue Soliloquy is not just a recording of solo soprano saxophone pieces; it's an eloquent and daring discourse on the scope of possibilities that the instrument offers. As the CD title and song names suggest, the blues forms the foundation for everything Newsome writes and plays. He depends heavily on multiphonics but this complements, rather than submerges, the smooth, rich resonance of his overall tone.

There are Gershwin-esque flourishes in tunes like "Blues for Robert Johnson" and "Blue Swagger" and Newsome's virtuosity sometimes makes it sound like there are two people playing. And multiphonics are not used just for their own sake; they're the "amen" notes in the call-and-response scheme of "Blue Pulpit," and carry the soulful and ambitious "Blue Sunday." On several tunes—"Blue Beijing," "Blue Doppler Effect," "Blue Hum of the Holy Breath," "24 Tones"—Newsome also employs the technique of circular breathing. While some players do this strictly as a parlor trick, Newsome embraces it on each song as a challenge, like a visual artist sketching a detailed landscape from a single unbroken line.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Blue Soliloquy is the way Newsome explores the soprano's imitative range. On "Blue Mbira," he manipulates his mouthpiece to capture the sound of an African thumb piano, produces flute pitches on "Bansuri Blue" and "Blue Bamboo" and echoes the texture of the human voice on "Throat-Singing Blues." None of these is a stone-faced impersonation. Newsome swings the whole time, even sending out intermittent winks in the form of tenor-like honking. The disc ends with an interpretation of "Blue Monk," the reworked chord structure and melody giving Newsome ample room to expound wonderfully upon the pianist's point.

Newsome pushes creative limits on this stunning work and does so with startling effect. In his adept hands, the soprano becomes truly organic. Who knew that an instrument could have so much personality?


Track Listing: Blue Doppler Effect; Blue Sunday; Blue Bamboo Blues for Robert Johnson; Blue Mongolia; Blue Swagger; 24 Tones; Blue Beijing; Mandela's Blue Mbira; Blue Safari; Throat-Singing Blues; Blue Lacy Coleman; Blue Pulpit; Blue Hum of the Holy Breath; Blue Monk.

Personnel: Sam Newsome: soprano saxophone.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Samba Gostoso" CD/LP/Track Review Samba Gostoso
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Migration" CD/LP/Track Review Migration
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!