Reference: FSRCD 612
Bar code: 8427328606127
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David Fathead Newman was best known for his long association with Ray Charles, but there was much more to him, as this succinct and panoramic coverage of his talents as a jazzman reveals. His bright, buoyant tenor, despite the apparent Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane influences, has moments of humor and timbre that suggest Lockjaw Davis.
The first album The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces!, introduces a quintet with Newman and fellow Texan James Clay, both on tenor, swinging hard, generating a tremendous amount of excitement and emotional involvement, with Clay adding his rich, sensitive touch on flute.
The second album, Straight Ahead, features a quartet showcasing Newman not only on tenor, but also on alto and flute, with the alto performances firm and convincing and the flute outings equally persuasive. Pianist Wynton Kellys role is a key one, amounting at times to a virtual duet with Newman. In fact, the accompaniment in both dates is impressive, as would be expected from such major league players as Kelly, bassists Paul Chambers and Sam Jones, and drummers Charlie Persip and Art Taylor, who offer impeccable drive, ideas and energy throughout.