David "Fathead" Newman

Collectables Classics

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Collectables Classics is simply a packaging idea from those label heads who feel that there reissues need a new face. Hence, this "box set" that is simply a wooden box containing individual albums either already issued by the label as reissues, or recently licensed by them. Here are five albums on four discs. David "Fathead" Newman fans will already have these, so it is difficult to discern who exactly these are being marketed to in the MP3 player era. In any case, there are some very fine sides here. They include Fathead: Ray Charles Presents David Fathead Newman (his solo debut after leaving the Charles band) that features trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Charles, Hank Crawford (here called "Bennie"), Edgar Willis, and Milt Turner. It was released on Atlantic in 1958. Next up the amazing Fathead Comes On from 1962 with Belgrave, Charlie Persip, and others, as well as the main album lineup that seats Crawford at the piano!. The double-CD in the box includes the 1979 recordings produced by Joel Dorn and they include Lonely Avenue and Newmanism; from a period when the great saxophonist was trying to hold his own in the slick world of fusion and the earliest groove jazz. Finally there is a 1988 date issued as Fire! Live at the Village Vanguard, with guest saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Crawford. The rhythm section includes the great Kirk Lightsey and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. This Collectables Classics is an OK introduction to Newman, but a better one would be the individual CDs themselves, which can be purchased separately.

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