The Connoisseur's Frankie Newton: His 25 Finest 1937-1939
Here is a magnificent addition to the invaluable, Digby Fairweather-inspired series of great jazz trumpeters on Retrospective, which now stretches to no fewer than 21 releases! Virginian Frankie Newton (1906-1954) stands tall in this distinguished company, yet his artistry has tended to remain one of jazz’s better-kept secrets. The Connoisseur’s Frankie Newton focuses exclusively on the remarkable sessions under Newton’s leadership from 1937 to 1939, assembling virtually all of his finest recordings, and providing a comprehensive portrait of his prodigious artistic gifts. This is classic late-30s small group jazz at its very best with eight tracks from the Uptown Serenaders (You Showed Me The Way), six from his 1939 seven-piece orchestra (Rosetta), five from his Café Society Orchestra (Tab’s Blues) and finally six of the superlative blues performances recorded for Blue Note in 1939 (Blues For Tommy Ladnier). Generously showcased too are the other superb musicians around him, notably alto sax player Pete Brown, clarinettist Edmond Hall, Sidney Bechet, James P. Johnson and so many more. A jazz connoisseur’s delight!
“…the splendid Retrospective series showcases some of Newton’s finest work in the immediate pre-war period. Beyond doubt, it shows what a wholly exceptional exponent of his instrument Newton was, technically and emotionally. Yes, we know from elsewhere he could do the stratospheric stuff like Eldridge but there’s also a tenderness to him, a hauntingly lyrical quality. Digby Fairweather, in customarily brilliant sleeve notes, channels Ruby Braff in in praising his ‘armoury of effects… growls, glissandi, challenging Armstrong-like flares, squeezy half-valve effects, pedal tones beyond and below the trumpet player’s legitimate register.’ Andrew Liddle, Just Jazz Magazine