David “Fathead” Newman – Diamondhead – HighNote Records

by | Jan 29, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

David “Fathead” Newman – Diamondhead – HighNote Records HCD 7179, 54:24 ***** [Release date: Jan. 29, 08]:

(David Newman, alto & tenor sax & flute; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Cedar Walton, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Yoron Israel, drums)

David Newman is one of the best of the tenor players today, and he also doubles beautifully on alto and flute.  His wide-ranging versatility is demonstrated in the variety found in the nine tracks of his latest album.  He can sound smooth and inviting – speaking softly – or he can really blast away when required.  His front line cohorts couldn’t be better – both Fuller and Walton have paid their dues about as long as Newman and give him maximum support.

The title and opening tune is a Newman original but he hadn’t come up with a title for it.  Since he will be 75 next month and diamonds are associated with 75th anniversaries, his wife came up with the title Diamondhead – very clever.  He also wrote two of the other tracks on the disc.  Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind gets a fun arrangement, and Hoagy Carmichael’s Skylark has a light and infectious uptempo arrangement. The contrasts from track to track  make this CD more interesting listening than most. Sonics are also superb, with Newman’s glorious, never raspy, tone coming to the fore in the arrangements.

TrackList: Diamondhead, Can’t We Be Friends?, New York State of Mind, Cedar’s Blues, My Full House, Skylark, Star Eyes, Mama-Lou, It’s You or No One.

– John Henry

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