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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome and Jean-Michel Pilc: Magic Circle

Read "Magic Circle" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Intimate, innovative and captivating Magic Circle is an album of duets between soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Although they perform primarily standards their interpretations are anything but conventional. Both musicians are known for their individual styles and singular approaches to improvisation and they showcase these superbly on the current disc.Pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington's “In a Sentimental Mood" opens with almost baroque refrains of Newsome's rich, meditative saxophone. Pilc's tolling piano provides a dark undertone. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone

Read "Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his fifth solo soprano album, Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-prepared Saxophone, Sam Newsome continues to explore and extend the utility of his instrument. This new release takes yet another new direction for Newsome whose previous solo outing The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation/Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2 (Self-produced, 2014) provided an aural link to Africa, evoking the soul and vitality of the continent. Here, as on Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation

Read "The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Sam Newsome's The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation (subtitled “Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2") is--despite the chronology--the fourth solo outing by the alto/tenor-turned-soprano saxophonist. The self-produced Monk Abstractions (2007) and Blue Soliloquy (2009) were highly regarded entries that preceded The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1 (2012). The latter album saw Newsome using layering techniques that allowed him to add a percussion element effectively derived from tapping keys. To suit the objectives of The ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation

Read "The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Sam Newsome played tenor saxophone in trumpeter Terence Blanchard's group back in the early 90s, but he put away the tenor late a few years later and left his soprano saxophone out on the table. The plan was to explore the possibilities of “the straight horn." Then Gerry Teekan, producer and founder of Criss Cross Records, advised Newsome that the soprano horn was a very limited instrument. That observation was, fortunately, not taken to heart. The Straight Horn ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1

Read "The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Sam Newsome's The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1 is a solo soprano saxophone outing, While not unprecedented--Steve Lacy and Evan Parker have done this before--it certainly is unusual. The straight horn all alone: no bass, no drums, no piano or guitar. Sounds lonely, and a little too sonically spare.But no one has gone deeper into solo soprano than Newsome. The saxophonist, who honed his artist chops in trumpeter Terence Blanchard's groups on tenor sax in the early ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Sam Newsome

Read "Take Five With Sam Newsome" reviewed by Sam Newsome

Meet Sam Newsome: One of the more important soprano saxophonists of his generation, Sam Newsome emerged onto the scene as a member of Terence Blanchard's quintet in the early 1990s, Newsome really hit his artistic stride when he began releasing a series of solo saxophone recordings expanding the sonic terrain of the soprano sax: Monk Abstractions (2007), Blue Soliloquy (2009), and The Art of the Soprano, Vol.1 (2012). Newsome is known for his extensive use of extended techniques ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: Blue Soliloquy

Read "Blue Soliloquy" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome: Blue Soliloquy

Read "Blue Soliloquy" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The soprano saxophone is one mean mistress; temperamental, demanding, and unforgiving. Few have mastered her, with Sidney Bechet, John Coltrane, and Steve Lacy coming to mind. Saxophonist Sam Newsome,late of the Terence Blanchard Quintet, has stepped up to provide his Das Wohltemperierte Klavier of the instrument in Soliloquy--Solo Works for Soprano Saxophone. Strongly recalling Bobby Watson's solo alto saxophone recital, This Little Light of Mine (Red Records, 1999), Blue Soliloquy researches and ultimately expands the tonal capability of the soprano ...

MEGAPHONE

Sam Newsome: To Play or Not to Play the Soprano

Read "Sam Newsome: To Play or Not to Play the Soprano" reviewed by Sam Newsome

When I think about the radical move I made 14 years ago, switching from the tenor to the soprano saxophone, I sometimes ask myself: “What in the hell were you thinking?" Even though in hindsight I look back on my decision with amazement and disbelief, I'm happy to say that it's one I've never regretted. Becoming a soprano saxophonist for me has been a life-changing journey that has restored my curiosity and excitement about music. It has strengthened me as ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite at the Jazz Standard, NYC

Read "Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite at the Jazz Standard, NYC" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban--The Romanian-American Jazz Suite at the Jazz StandardThe Jazz StandardNew York City, New YorkJuly 1, 2008 The genesis of The Romanian-American Jazz Suite goes back to 2004 when pianist Lucian Ban, whose roots are Romanian and American soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome received the CEC Artslink Award, which supports cross-cultural projects between artists in the United States, Central Europe, Russia and Eurasia. Ban lent Newsome a collection by Iosif ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite

Read "The Romanian-American Jazz Suite" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The Romanian-American Jazz Suite, by soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and pianist Lucian Ban, is another very good example of how the jazz aesthetic of personal expression be applied to other music (here Romanian folk music and Christmas carols) and, in essence, subsume it. The project has its genesis in an award given by CEC Artslink to promote cross-cultural projects between the United States and Central Europe, among other regions. Having Romanian roots, Ban lent Newsome a collection ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban: The Romanian-American Jazz Suite

Read "The Romanian-American Jazz Suite" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Sam Newsome and Lucian Ban took a handful of Romanian folk songs and gave them jazz arrangements, then combined them with some original songs inspired by Romanian culture to produce The Romanian-American Jazz Suite, an excellent balance of the modern and the traditional, rendered artfully by a first-rate band. “Transylvanian Dance" isn't what one would expect. It's laid-back funk, with Sorin Romanescu scratching on guitar and altoist Newsome and the irrepressible Alex Harding on baritone sax having ...


Waltz for my Childhood

The last single of Jazzy Sky, a sweet Jazz song, about childhood memories...

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