David "Fathead" Newman

Still Hard Times

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This 1990 CD from the defunct Muse label reissues a David "Fathead" Newman album from 1982, adding three alternate takes to the original six selections. Newman (heard on tenor, alto, flute, and soprano) is joined in the front line by his old friend, altoist Hank Crawford, baritonist Howard Johnson, and trumpeter Charlie Miller. With a rhythm section comprised of pianist Larry Willis, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Jimmy Cobb and two appearances by vibraphonist Steve Nelson, Newman has a particularly strong supporting cast. There are two songs apiece by the leader and Crawford (including "Still Hard Times"), plus bluish renditions of "One for My Baby" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love." The music is soulful, swinging, and full of honest feeling, with Newman and Crawford heard in prime form.

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