Joe Newman

The Joe Newman Memorial Album: A Grand Night For Swinging

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The Joe Newman Memorial Album: A Grand Night For Swinging Review

by Ken Dryden

Count Basie veteran Joe Newman leads this 1962 studio date, though it is hardly a memorial album as titled since it was recorded three decades prior to his death and had previously been issued by Stash. But that is a minor complaint, as the trumpeter is in superb form on this quartet session with pianist Ross Tompkins (prior to his joining The Tonight Show as the regular pianist), bassist Russell George, and drummer Roy Lundberg. Following a lightly swinging take of "The Lady's in Love With You," they shake things up with a slowly savored arrangement of "You Are My Sunshine," with an elaborate duo introduction by Newman and Tompkins. They settle into a slightly brisker and bluesy groove as the rest of the rhythm section joins them. Two pieces by Billy Taylor are also delightful, including the intricate blues "A Grand Night for Swinging" and a funky take of "Capricious." Sadly, this recommended CD has been unavailable since the demise of Natasha Imports.

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