169

David "Fathead" Newman: Diamondhead

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
David "Fathead" Newman: Diamondhead 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.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: HighNote Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

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 Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review New Jazz Standards, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Goin' Your Way" CD/LP/Track Review Goin' Your Way
by Doug Collette
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 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!