Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

194

Sam Newsome: The Tender Side of Sammy Straighthorn

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Picking up the soprano saxophone these days as your sole instrument can be a dangerous proposition. For one thing, the straight clarinet-like horn is notorious for going out of tune if your embouchure is not up to par. Secondly, a whole generation of Kenny G clones has left some fans thinking that the instrument is only capable of insipid and saccharine results. Venerable enough to make the soprano the focus of an entire album, Sam Newsome's The Tender Side of Sammy Straighthorn is only the second album to appear under the saxophonist's name since the start of his New York tenure in 1988.

With a fondness for the soprano stylings of both Wayne Shorter and Steve Lacy, Newsome's influences can be detected in 'Victoria's Secret,' which features the saxophonist's hard biting attack in a manner that recalls Shorter's '80s work on such albums as Atlantis. Not a one-trick pony however, Newsome's fluid approach to '12 Bars From Hell' (done with just bass and drums) clearly points to Lacy.

The addition of Elisabeth Kontomanou on several cuts provides further variety, her wordless vocals acting like another solo horn. The melancholy feeling to much of the writing that features Kontomanou hints at the influence of Kenny Wheeler, who often utilizes the voice of Norma Winstone in a similar manner. Pianist Bruce Barth is also a valuable member of the crew, his complex and soulful improvisations almost stealing the show at times.

As a vehicle for allowing the soprano to restore its rightful place among the rest of the saxophone family, Newsome should be congratulated on his efforts. Furthermore, his attempt to extend the hard bop tradition beyond the established boundaries has resulted an intriguing album that will reward those looking for something just a bit left of center.


Track Listing: Victoria's Secret, The Tender Side of Sammy Straighthorn, Autumn Leaves, 12 Bars From Hell, Lullaby of Takeda, The Dumpess of Nyack, All The Things You Are

Personnel: Sam Newsome- soprano saxophone, Elisabeth Kontomanou- voice, Bruce Barth- piano, Ugonna Okegwo- bass, Matt Wilson- drums

Title: The Tender Side of Sammy Straighthorn | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Far from Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far from Over
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Out of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Out of Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017