Thursday, January 22, 2009

David "Fathead" Newman, 1933-2009


I was shocked the first time I saw David "Fathead" Newman in person. In the era prior to internet and cable, a man's name conveyed a lot. And "Fathead," obviously, had a great one. His resume was even more impressive. One of the most important sidemen of the 20th century, Newman participated in classic sessions with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway and many others. So it was all the more shocking to discover that this musical giant was a skinny, unassuming guy. He's heard here- fittingly, I think- on a relaxed 1969 session. That's Charles Kynard on organ, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Grant Green on guitar, Jimmy Lewis on bass and Mickey Roker on drums. Newman died January 20. (Tip via AZ.)

I'm trying to avoid getting sucked into this season of American Idol. Thankfully, a very knowledgeable pal covers the show with appropriate vitriol at The Other Door. The site's tagline is "We watch American Idol so you don't have to." What a service!

Kansas City Click: I intend to stop by The Phoenix tonight. A guitarist without a MySpace account is booked at the downtown jazz club.

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