The 2011 three-disc anthology The Soulful Mr. Newman
compiles tracks from all of saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman's Highnote recordings beginning with 1999's Chillin'
through 2009's The Blessing
. A swinging, bluesy, and accomplished jazz saxophonist, Newman was a legend by the time he signed with Highnote in the late '90s. For the last ten years of his life -- he died from pancreatic cancer in 2009 -- Newman was showcased by the label, releasing a handful of stellar, straight-ahead, acoustic jazz albums. Not surprisingly, these albums also featured a bevy of stellar backing musicians, including such names as pianists Cedar Walton
and John Hicks
, drummer Winard Harper
, bassist Peter Washington
, and trombonists Curtis Fuller
and Steve Turre
, among others. From blues to standards and Latin numbers, this is passionate, urbane, and swinging acoustic jazz in small- and large-group settings that perfectly frame Newman's fluid style.