Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
158

Sam Newsome: This Masquerade

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count Views
Sam Newsome: This Masquerade It's been ten years now since saxophonist Sam Newsome made his debut recording as a leader for Criss Cross Jazz, Sam I Am. Prior to that he had spent five years on the front line of Terrence Blanchard's quintet. Already established within the hard bop community and known as a tenor saxophone stylist of note, Newsome made a bold move in 1995 by focusing exclusively on the soprano horn. Furthermore, he would develop a unique muse in the guise of Global Unity, an ensemble that specializes in a jazz hybrid embracing the folkloric traditions of Middle Eastern and Japanese music.

Unlike his previous SteepleChase affair, The Tender Side of Sammy Straighthorn, this new release is more of an open-ended experiment that relies less on formal structures and more on a blowing type atmosphere, albeit with a great degree of creative energy. Newsome's horn is also front and center, without the arcane edge usually added by the wordless vocals of Elizabeth Kontomanou (an acquired taste anyway, to be sure). Some radical departures are given to the standards on tap, like the altered melody voiced by Newsome on 'Satin Doll,' which works up an exceptional froth thanks to drummer Gene Jackson's locomotive accompaniment. Newsome even turns 'The Girl From Ipanema's' walk to the sea into more of a hurried romp. By contrast, the title track and 'Toryanse' are reflective and calm; giving one an even better opportunity to appreciate Newsome's round and almost vibrato-less tone.

Quirky enough to raise the ante beyond your typical blowing session, the freedom that Newsome finds in these nine pieces (pianist Bruce Barth is cleary inspired to boot) seems to goad some genuinely profound statements and the results are positively effusive.


Track Listing: Satin Doll, Stella By Starlight, The Girl From Ipanema, Footprints, This Masquerade, Toryanse, Blue Monk, What's New, Pent-Up House

Personnel: Sam Newsome (soprano sax), Bruce Barth (piano), Ugonna Okegwo (bass), Gene Jackson (drums)

| Record Label: SteepleChase Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Megaphone
Read more articles
The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation
The Straight Horn of...
Self Produced
2015
buy
The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation
The Straight Horn of...
Self Produced
2014
buy
The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1
The Art of the...
Self Produced
2012
buy
Blue Soliloquy
Blue Soliloquy
Self Produced
2010
buy
The Romanian-American Jazz Suite
The Romanian-American...
Jazzaway
2008
buy
This Masquerade
This Masquerade
SteepleChase Records
2002
buy
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
David Binney David Binney
saxophone
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.