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Here Is Phineas. The Piano Artistry of Phineas Newborn Jr. (Remastered)

Phineas Newborn Jr.

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Album Review

Other than two numbers cut for the Progressive label in Houston a couple years earlier (and thus far never reissued), this Atlantic session (put out as a Koch CD in 1999) was the recording debut for the remarkable Phineas Newborn. The 24-year-old pianist's playing on this trio/quartet date with bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke (and occasionally guitarist Calvin Newborn) is virtuosic to say the least, on Oscar Peterson's level if not Art Tatum's. Newborn rips through the repertoire (which is highlighted by "Barbados," "Celia," "Daahoud," and "Afternoon in Paris"); try to tap your foot to "Celia" without breaking your ankle! In the liner notes, George Wein faults Newborn's tendency to double time the ballads, and some listeners may shake their heads at his constant outpouring of technically impossible runs (those speedy octaves are ridiculous) — but if one has chops on this level, one should feel free to display them. This is a dazzling debut from an ill-fated but classic pianist, and this CD is a gem.

Biography

Born: 14 December 1931 in Whiteville, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

One of the most technically skilled and brilliant pianists in jazz during his prime, Phineas Newborn remains a bit of a mystery. Plagued by mental and physical problems of unknown origin, Newborn faded from the scene in the mid-'60s, only to re-emerge at irregular intervals throughout his life. Newborn could be compared to Oscar Peterson in that his bop-based style was largely unclassifiable,...
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Here Is Phineas. The Piano Artistry of Phineas Newborn Jr. (Remastered), Phineas Newborn Jr.
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