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Guitarist/composer Cam Newton has been receiving good press on the basis of his first two releases, while his latest outing titled Short Films, represents the artist’s freshman offering for the Arizona-based “Summit Records” label.
Mr. Newton is a classically trained musician and a – Registered Music Therapist, as this Oregon native boasts an impressive resume, having played with blues legend B.B. King, saxophonist David Sanborn and according to the companion press kit, toured or performed with one of Miles Davis’ aggregations. With this effort, the guitarist pursues an organic touch, atop lilting choruses and eloquently assembled themes!
Newton conveys a lust for life via passionate and primarily upbeat choruses that often bespeak a world beat groove amid peaceable melodies, layered strings and soprano saxophonist Michael Bard’s dream-laden lines along with the intermittent injections of Far Eastern rhythmic structures. Simply put, Newton’s training as a musical therapist is effectively illustrated via his approach to composition. Yes, much of it could be associated with “New Age” or radio friendly fare yet the artist’s often expressive, prismatic aural canvasses translate into ethereal, soothing and moderately energetic motifs. Hence, fans of “Shadowfax”, the “Paul Winter Consort” or perhaps “Oregon” may want to pay special attention to this affable and altogether attractive set.
Track Listing: Spirit of the Pacific Rim, Sea Of Cortez, To fight the good fight, Details at eleven, Ochoco, Across the distance, There was a time, One blue pearl (earth), The mystery of dreams, rubatoland
Personnel: Cam Newton; guitars, voice, percussion: Michael Bard; soprano, midi-sax; percussion: Rob Thomas; violin, electric and acoustic bass: Billy Oskay; viola, violin: Mark Schneider; fretless bass, bass: Israel Annoh; congas, bongos, percussion: Gary Hobbs; timbales: Denny Bixby; electric bass: Larry Bard; tablas, percussion: Roger Hadley; tablas, percussion: Joseph Rowe; tar
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.