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September 08, 2011


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Joseph Neff

What a wonderful post on a superb record. I've yet to hear anything in the New Jazz series that was less than great; my favorite title that doesn't get talked about much is THE NEW SCENE OF KING CURTIS with Wynton Kelly, Nat Adderley and...Paul Chambers. Thank you Glenn. It's been far too long since I last listened to Newborn. Pulling out THE GREAT JAZZ PIANO right now....


More great writing on Newborn is available in Robert Gordon's invaluable and eye-opening alternative history of Memphis music, It Came from Memphis, which focuses primarily on Furry Lewis and Jim Dickinson (note spelling). Calvin Newborn, brother of Phineas, was active until fairly recently, you could catch him in Memphis clubs if you were lucky (I wasn't).

Jonathan Rosenbaum

A funny coincidence: I just bought a fine two-LP, one-CD rerelease of Newborn's "Fabulous Phineas" and "Piano Portraits"--the latter of which also has Roy Haynes--two days ago. I tend to prefer his up-tempo numbers--especially "Tadd's Delight" on "We Three" (which I just downloaded from Amazon) and both "Take the 'A' Train" and "Real Gone Guy" on "Piano Portraits". Newborn's articulation is like no one else's.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Another great trio album of his: "Here is Phineas". There are moments on this one that remind me of Tatum.

James Keepnews

Delighted as always to read any of your music writing, and certainly all the more so for essaying a Riverside release. A perfect example of yet another rarely-discussed virtuoso for which jazz does not lack -- I've always loved his playing and own nothing by him. To be remedied pronto.

(Fun fact: according to the learned Mr. Phil Schaap, his first name is pronounced "FINE-ass". Like, to be sure, his playing.)


Glenn, that was excellent, thank you. I owe David Was for dual-reviewing We Three along with Everybody Digs Bill Evans on NPR back in 2007. He played "Reflections" and then Evans' "Some Other Time" (sans Monica Z.), and the clips made such an impression that I headed to the record store within hours for them both. I must have listened to each 100 times since, and I'm still pissed that 35 years of life passed before I'd found them. (p.s. Youtube has several knockout Newborn performances for viewing.)

Phil Freeman

I need to hear this record now. Newborn is one of many gaping holes in my knowledge of jazz, and I have been known to mutter about being perfectly happy to go the rest of my life without ever hearing another piano trio, but you've done an excellent job of salesmanship.

I saw Roy Haynes play at Sonny Rollins' 80th birthday show at the Beacon Theater last year (the recording comes out on Tuesday). Even at 86, he hits HARD.

Chris Morris

A wonderful piece. Always nice to see the inestimable Stanley Booth receiving props; his Newborn is the genuine article, and "Rythm [sic] Oil" is indeed a priceless classic. FYI, Calvin Newborn privately published his own family memoir, "As Quiet As It's Kept." I found it in a Memphis bookstore some years back. It's poorly edited, if it can be said to be edited at all, but has contains some flavorful stories about Memphis and the man they called "Finas." Calvin is a gem in his own right. I interviewed him for Billboard some years back, and he was a joy to hear.

Greg Mottola

'We Three' is actually one of the few Riverside albums I don't have, for some reason. Well, that's been corrected, thanks to Glenn. Getting on a plane tomorrow, will be listening to it then. Speaking of Riverside ... um, James, are your Orrin's son?!


Got sent a link to some newly posted Newborn on YouTube, from '89 in Memphis: http://youtu.be/0c72lU7mPKc

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