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...

169

David "Fathead" Newman: Diamondhead

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
It's quite possible that David "Fathead" Newman is a soulster at heart. All three of his original compositions for this session are heavily weighed towards a breezing 1960s retro sound, awash with R&B fluids. For the rest, though, he's emphatically a jazzman, as can be heard whenever Diamondhead (to give David his new nickname) plays a New York club date.

Newman is still best known for his extended stint with Ray Charles, even as he reaches his 75th year. Since signing to the HighNote label in 2001, Newman has released virtually an album each year, all co-produced with fellow tenor man Houston Person. The 'head (Fat or Diamond, take your pick) is at his most enveloping when seducing this particular horn and his best solos here emanate from down in those lower reaches. The flute is usually deployed during those nostalgic moments when the leader coasts back four decades to when he first hooked up with trombonist Curtis Fuller and pianist Cedar Walton, his fellow veterans in this impressive quintet. The remaining rhythm team's much younger, but Newman has even known bassman Peter Washington and drummer Yoron Israel for between fifteen and twenty years.

It's a straight-ahead sequence of tunes, although the wretched Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" pops up as track three, a ballad that has Fathead soloing on both flute and tenor. Walton provides "Cedar's Blues" and this has a garrulous momentum, with a blustery Fuller solo. It's back to balladry with Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark," featuring a caressing tenor solo, then a detailed, sensitive piano interlude. The Diamondhead isn't really attempting any innovation, so he can hardly be dismissed for this album's lack of surprises. On the level of a relaxed, inviting glide, it's a very organic, warm-hearted set.

Track Listing: Diamondhead; Can't We Be Friends?; New York State Of Mind; Cedar's Blues; My Full House; Skylark; Star Eyes; Mama-Lou; It's You Or No One.

Personnel: David "Fathead" Newman: alto and tenor saxophones, flute; Curtis Fuller: trombone; Cedar Walton: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Yoron Israel: drums.

Title: Diamondhead | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Blessing

The Blessing

HighNote Records
2010

buy
 

The Blessing

Cristal Records
2009

buy
Diamondhead

Diamondhead

HighNote Records
2009

buy
Diamondhead

Diamondhead

HighNote Records
2008

buy
Introducing David Newman

Introducing David...

Warner Bros.
2008

buy
Life

Life

HighNote Records
2007

buy

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019
Read Vera Album Reviews
Vera
By Jerome Wilson
January 22, 2019
Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019