Random Mrjyn Dailymotion Video

Search This Blog

November 3, 2009

reBlog from What Gets Me Hot: WGMH

PHINEAS NEWBORN JR.: Baby Grandiloquent

NewbornImage by CharlesFred via Flickr


lush life

Theme For Basie

Left Hand Blues

Created by television pioneer and life-long jazz devotee Steve Allen, Jazz Scene USA was nationally syndicated television program in the beginning of the sixties that showcased some of the best practitioners of that very American musical form. All appearances are featured in a relaxed, casual atmosphere created by hipster host, singer Oscar Brown Jr. Uncompromising in its use of imaginative camera angles, the visual style is on a par with the music. These shows are time capsules to cherish fron america's golden days of televised jazz.

In these videos circa 1962 we see the amazing pianist Phineas Newborn interpreting his own "Theme For Basie", Billy Strayhorn's lush ballad "Lush Life", "Blues For Left Hand" , "The New Blues" and Sonny Rollins' "Oleo" accompanied by Al McGibbon on bass and Kenny Dennis on drums.

Phineas Newborn Jr., a leading jazz pianist, died at his home in Memphis, Tenn., Friday. He was 57 years old.

Phineas Newborn Jr., a leading jazz pianist, died at his home in Memphis, Tenn., Friday. He was 57 years old.

The cause of death has not been released.Irvin Salky, Mr. Newborn's agent and friend, said X-rays six weeks ago showed a growth on one of his lungs.

Although Mr. Newborn was not a celebrity, he was highly regarded by jazz aficionados, especially in the 1950's and 60's. ''In his prime, he was one of the three greatest jazz pianists of all time, right up there with Bud Powell and Art Tatum,'' said Leonard Feather, a jazz critic for Downbeat magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

His albums included ''A World of Piano,'' ''The Newborn Touch,'' ''The Great Piano of Phineas'' and ''Piano Artistry of Phineas Newborn.''His father, Phineas Newborn Sr., led a big band that played on Memphis's celbrated Beale Street in the 30's and 40's. Mr. Newborn grew up playing saxophone, trumpet and vibraphone in the band, which included his brother Calvin, who played guitar.

Besides his brother, he is survived by his mother, daughters, a son and two grandchildren.

A racial attack took him out of the playing circuit in 1974. He was admitted to the Veteran’s Hospital with a cracked jawbone, broken nose and several broken fingers. The day Phineas was discharged from the hospital he went to Ardent recording studios and recorded a Grammy nominated album, ‘Solo Piano’. The tracks included a version of ‘Out of The World’ which contained stunning left-hand virtuosity. Stanley Booth says that ‘hearing that performance while looking at the X-ray photos of Phineas’s broken hands is enough to make you think that Little Red (Phineas Newborn), like Jerry Lee Lewis is a little more than human.’Rhythm Oil: A Journey Through the Music

Published: July 11, 1986

Phineas Newborn Jr., Sweet Basil, 88 Seventh Avenue South, below West Fourth Street (242-1785). Born into a musical Memphis family and a pianist with his father's big band and on early B. B. King recordings while still in his teens, Phineas Newborn Jr. was in every sense a prodigy. By the time he made his classic Atlantic, RCA and Contemporary jazz albums, in the 1950's and early 60's, that prodigious abundance of technique was getting him compared with the virtuosic Art Tatum, and dismissed by some as all fingers, no heart. That was never true, and certainly isn't now. In his maturity, Mr. Newborn is one of the masters of jazz piano, with an immediately identifiable tone and touch, great harmonic originality, and, as a kind of signature, octave runs that seem to fairly whip along the keyboard. Shows are around 10 and 11:30 P.M. and 1 A.M. through Sunday, with a $10 music charge and $6 minimum.

tav falco
August 17, 1975
Memphis, Tennessee
3-min. excerpt
1/2 » Open Reel Video original, B&W

Imagine yourself a prodigy, a jazz virtuoso of the 1950s. You have played with everybody from Duke Ellington to Charlie Mingus. Then POW… you are lost for twenty years. Your achievements and talents put into chemical and canvas straitjackets. Living with your mother. Treated like a miscreant. Then you begin to rise to the top again. This is one of the man’s first public performances before a public eager and waiting so long for his return.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]