DAVID "FATHEAD" NEWMAN

Diamondhead

2008-03-30

Seventy-five-year-old David "Fathead" Newman's latest release, titled "Diamondhead," invokes one word and one word only … Ahhhh. Now, call me a purist, but this is the jazz that defines the genre. Newman has been at it for nearly 60 years now, playing with the Ray Charles band for 12 years and later with Herbie Mann for another ten. The title track, "Diamonhead" is rife with references, seemingly taking a note from the Eddie Harris's "Compared to What," though it takes a brief moment halfway through to pay tribute to George Gerswhin's "American in Paris." His cover of Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" gets a nice make-over with Newman grabbing for the flute. All in all, a great album. I listened to it over and over again and found new little gems each time. If you like the classics, like Coltrane or Miles Davis, this would do well on your shelf. A definite must and nice to have yet another contribution from a jazz legend. -- Daniel Graeber

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