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David "Fathead" Newman: The Blessing

Read "The Blessing" reviewed by Andrew Velez

What an apt name The Blessing is for David Newman's final recording before his death ended a long career last January (2009). He played for more than a decade with Ray Charles and alongside Herbie Mann, Aretha Franklin and Roy Ayers, among many others. For this last studio session he was in fine form. A Milt Jackson gem, “SKJ," is the set's opener, Steve Nelson's vibes providing glowing cascades before Newman swings in with a solo as brief in its ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman: Diamondhead

Read "Diamondhead" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Diamondhead is the ninth of David “Fathead" Newman's HighNote recordings (not the seventh, as the disc's notes state) and it's a typically enjoyable outing of soulful bop with no surprises but some exceedingly fine playing that holds up well after multiple listens. Pianist Cedar Walton is Newman's trump card here and a real asset to the group's groove. Both these Texas natives go back to Lee Morgan's Sonic Boom (Blue Note, 1968) and the pianist was first featured on Newman's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman: Diamondhead

Read "Diamondhead" reviewed by Martin Longley

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman's 75th Birthday Extravaganza at Iridium

Read "David "Fathead" Newman's 75th Birthday Extravaganza at Iridium" reviewed by James Nichols

David “Fathead" Newman's 75th Birthday Celebration Iridium New York, New York January 24, 2008

The jazz tourist in New York can be easily disappointed. Historical 52nd street is now a palimpsest over which Times Square has imperially strewn yet more of its glitter and spectacle. But standing amidst all this post-Giuliani glamour is Club Iridium, a lonely basement club sharing the corner of Broadway and 51st with the ghosts of Club Onyx, the Downbeat, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman: Introducing David Newman

Read "Introducing David Newman" reviewed by Chris May

Despite a poverty of packaging which suggests the sort of shoddy compilations sold on gas station forecourts--no personnel or other session details, no profile of the artist--Introducing David Newman proves to be an enjoyable twelve-track trawl through albums recorded by saxophonist/flautist David “Fathead" Newman for Atlantic, Warner Bros, Reprise and Elektra from 1959-77 (most of them available today on the Collectables reissue label).

A member of pianist/vocalist Ray Charles' band from 1954-64, first on baritone saxophone, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman: Life

Read "Life" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Even after decades in the music business, it's clear that David “Fathead Newman still has many, many notes left to play. Toward that end Life is a handful of chestnuts on which he displays his formidable triple-threat skills on tenor sax, alto sax and flute. Newman's sultry tenor on “Girl Talk speaks volumes with his smooth and subtle phrasing, blowing masterfully with excellent accompaniment from vibraphonist Steve Nelson and guitarist Peter Bernstein. “Alfie has a simple yet ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David "Fathead" Newman: Life

Read "Life" reviewed by Erik R. Quick

Even the most intrepid and adventuresome listener, seeking revolution at the turn of every phrase, may eventually return to the familiar. A new release by saxophonist David “Fathead Newman is to be anticipated and celebrated for the sheer exuberance in the joy of playing beautifully. His tone, nurtured for fifty years and throughout forty albums as a leader, envelops the listener and soothes the troubled soul.

Newman's Life, dedicated to the late pianist John Hicks, is his eighth ...


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