Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

514

Sam Newsome: Blue Soliloquy

By

Sign in to view read count
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: 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 Doppler Effect; Blue Sunday; Blue Bamboo; Blue Hum of the Holy Breath; Blue Monk.

Personnel: Sam Newsome: soprano saxophone.

Title: Blue Soliloquy | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

In a Mellow Tone

In a Mellow Tone

Sam Newsome
The Art of the Soprano, Vol 1

A Love Supreme (Acknowledgement)

A Love Supreme (Acknowledgement)

Sam Newsome
The Art of the Soprano, Vol 1

Boo Boo's Birthday

Boo Boo's Birthday

Sam Newsome
Monk Abstractions

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Megaphone
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone

Sopranoville: New...

Self Produced
2017

buy
Magic Circle

Magic Circle

Self Produced
2017

buy
 

Four by Six

Iacuessa Records
2013

buy
The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1

The Art of the...

Self Produced
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May24Fri
Harlem Jazz Series - Sam Newsome
Greater Calvary Baptist Church
New York, NY
$21.77

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019