Phineas Newborn, Jr.

Phineas' Rainbow/While My Lady Sleeps

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This compilation features Phineas Newborn Jr. in two separate settings. Phineas' Rainbow, a collection of solo, trio, and quartet tracks, is the superior session of the two, and it was only the pianist's second full album as a leader. Already he shows a surprising maturity at the keyboard, whether covering standards like "Angel Eyes" and "Autumn in New York" as a soloist, with his trio (including bassist Jamil Nassar and drummer Philly Joe Jones) interpreting Harold Land's "Land's End" or George Shearing's less-familiar "She (She Means Everything to Me)," or ripping through his hard bop originals "Overtime" and "Clarisse" with his brother, Calvin Newborn, on guitar expanding the group to a quartet. Unfortunately, the often heavy-handed string arrangements by conductor Dennis Farnon nearly overwhelm Newborn's incredible technique during the second half of the CD. Newborn gets in some great licks during several of the interludes, but the presence of the strings will make this half of the disc of borderline interest to jazz fans. Since three of the tracks are omitted from the latter session, anyone seeking the complete session is advised to look for the 2001 BMG International CD reissue of While My Lady Sleeps.

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