"I Remember Brother
from Mike Joyce of The Washington Post
DAVID "FATHEAD" NEWMAN
"I Remember Brother Ray"
11, 2005; Page WE07
Though there will
be many Ray Charles tribute CDs to come, it's hard to imagine a more sincere,
evocative and soulful homage than saxophonist David "Fathead"
Newman's latest recording. "I Remember Brother Ray" is an all-tenor-sax
session, featuring eight songs associated with the legend, who died last
year, and there's not a performance in the bunch that doesn't put Charles
on our mind.
Newman played reeds
alongside his mentor for more than a decade, during the halcyon days at
Atlantic Records, and he remains one of the great Texas-bred tenor men.
His tone is warm and resonant, his phrasing unfussy, and his harmonic
finesse allows him to effortlessly bridge R&B and jazz traditions.
For proof, just listen to the opening track, a version of "Hit the
Road Jack" that finds Newman moving with ease and authority from
the original strutting pulse into a swing groove sustained by drummer
Winard Harper's tapping ride cymbal. Much of the music here is inspired
by the small combo sessions Charles made in the '50s, and the intimate
settings are particularly well suited to Newman's deep-toned balladry,
as terrific versions of "Georgia on My Mind" and "Drown
in My Tears" attest.
Three tunes, however,
serve as quintet reminders of Charles's big-band recordings. Among these
is "Deed I Do," a vibrant showcase for Newman and the seasoned
crew that consistently enhances this heartfelt, soul-stirring salute:
drummer Harper, pianist John Hicks, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and bassist
John Menegon. -- Mike Joyce
Appearing Friday and
Saturday at Twins Jazz. | To hear a free Sound Bite from David "Fathead"
Newman, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8129. (Prince William
residents, call 703-690-4110.)
2005 The Washington Post Company
of the TIMES
"Call him 'Fathead' if you want,
but some call David Newman a pioneer"
The Dallas Morning News
lean times for Fathead
"At 66, David Newman has a big sound
and plenty of work"
By Al Hunter Jr.
Daily News Staff Writer
plays it all
By David Lonke
Blade Pop Music Writer