- Audio CD (15 Jan. 2005)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: HighNote Records
- ASIN: B0006J2FLW
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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I Remember Brother Ray
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Top Customer Reviews
The c.d kicks off with an umptempo "Hit the road jack" and then moves into chillout mode with the beautiful "Georgia on my mind" and then possibly the pick of the album "When your lover has gone" played with the passion and warmth that makes Newman fairly unique amongst todays Jazzmen.He doesn't show the fire and brimstone and flashy teqhnique of many of todays jazz musicians he relies on a good old fashioned full toned warm sound and as much feeling as anyone puts into their music.
This album won't break any new ground but sit back and let one of the greats of the Tenor saxaphone take over.
Great relaxing listening to leave you feeling warm all over and i'm sure that's exactly what was intended by all.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I saw Fathead in Seattle right after he played one of these tunes as a solo at Ray Charles' funeral in LA. The old R&B sideman has become a tenor saint. And a leader. I asked him why he never put out a ballad album, since all the great tenors finally do. "Make it all tenor!" I whispered. He just smiled. Maybe he already had this filet on the coals.
Usually his tenor ballads are interspersed with pop, R&B, funk, and much of it on flute or alto sax. So we've never had a straight tenor session from Fathead. You have to go to blues albums under other names like Ronnie Earl ('Grateful Heart') or Jimmy McGriff ('Dream Team'). Those blues artists know that they want Fathead on tenor and nothing else! Well, this CD is about as close as I'll come to my dream, a Fathead Newman ballad/blues album on which he sticks to tenor.
No other tenor player has a sound quite like his: from the Texas lineage of Illinois Jacquette, Arnette Cobb, Willis Jackson and James Clay. This often means a tendency to bar-walk and honk. But Fathead, like Brother Ray, mellowed his blues shout into a gentle cry, gritty but tender. That is the particular genius in both of their sounds, and maybe Fathead learned it from brother Ray. Or maybe the secret is his old hard-rubber Berg-Larson mouthpiece: each amber note of melody served up smothered in gravy, charbroiled on the outside but juicy within. I would put Fathead in a distinguished list with Pres, Ben, Trane, Jug, Dexter and Getz. What do these disparate tenors have in common? They each have such a distinctive sound, all they need to blow is one note to gain instant recognition.
You'll recognize every tune as a Ray Charles hit, but you'll find that Newman has chosen the most melodic and balladic of Ray's songs. Even those that were originally up-tempo R&B have been turned down to sunset mellow. For after all, this is a eulogy to the master blues wailer who first introduced the young sax player with the album 'Fathead: Ray Charles Presents David Newman'('58). Like another recent eulogy, Houston Person's 'To Etta With Love' (Etta Jones), this tribute to a late great musical partner is bitter-sweet. At the same time, it gently swings.
Note the excellent accompaniment: master pianist John Hicks, the hot young drummer Winard Harper, and one of the best vibists in contemporary jazz, Steve Nelson. Each of these musicians can muster and lead their own recording sessions. It speaks highly of their respect for Ray Charles and his old friend Fathead that they would play as sidemen on this session. No, it isn't ground-breaking or even charged with edgy five-star energy. But it's worth every penny and every tear because of the devotion, drenched with memory, that inspired it.
David brings an interpretation that simply, yet eloquently displays the genius of both men.