Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jamaica / Fabulous Phineas
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Mixed Bag Two-Fer
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 05/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this CD by Phineas Newborn Jr. because I found a very inexpensive used copy, and because I liked the jazz pianist's early 60s work on the Contemporary label, especially A World of Piano! and The Newborn Touch. This Collectables label title features two albums originally made for RCA in the late 1950s, "Plays Harold Arlen's Music from Jamaica" and "Fabulous Phineas." Some may disagree but I found the former session rather boring. Arlen's songbooks have never been at the top of my list and A.K. Salim's arrangements of these tunes from a long-forgotten musical are uninspired. Newborn is joined by a who's who of 50s blowing sessions all-stars -- Jimmy Cleveland, Jerome Richardson, Sahib Shihab, Les Spann, George Duvivier, Osie Johnson -- but maybe they would have been better off cutting loose, instead of being constrained by the arranger. As with Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum, I most enjoy hearing Newborn's flurries of notes in a trio or quartet setting (less competition and clutter I suppose). Which brings us to this disc's saving grace, "Fabulous Phineas," a quartet session with brother Calvin on guitar, George Joyner on bass and Denzil Best on drums. This album is a solid four-star affair, but unfortunately one of the tracks ("Back Home") had to be left off due to time constraints -- they should've nixed something from "Jamaica" instead! Anyway, I'll award three stars as an average score for what is ultimately a mixed bag two-fer."