Up City

Up City

by Calvin NewbornCalvin Newborn


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Although he is the brother of the late hard bop pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr., guitarist Calvin Newborn has never been a major name in the jazz world. One of the problems is the fact that he has only recorded sporadically; in a perfect world, Newborn would have a much larger catalog. Nonetheless, the guitarist has his admirers, especially in Memphis jazz and blues circles -- and those admirers will easily appreciate what he does on Up City. Recorded in Memphis in 1996 and New York City in 1998, this hard bop/soul-jazz effort was originally released on his own label, Omnifarious Music, before being reissued by the Memphis-based Yellow Dog Records in 2005. Anyone who is familiar with Newborn's history knows that he isn't just the guitar-playing version of his brother; both are part of hard bop, but while Phineas could be a very cerebral pianist (Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell were primary influences), Calvin definitely favors the soul-jazz side of things. From the lively arrangements to Newborn's gritty, hard-swinging guitar solos, Up City is a prime example of how funky and blues-minded hard bop can be. The earthiness of the blues is evident throughout this enjoyable album, which unites the guitarist with skillful improvisers like Bill Mobley (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bill Easley (tenor sax, flute), and Tony Reedus (drums). Nothing groundbreaking occurs on Up City, but Newborn's accessible performances are consistently solid and make one wish that he hadn't recorded so infrequently over the years.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/10/2005
Label: Yellow Dog Records
UPC: 0823800115725
catalogNumber: 21157
Rank: 168624

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Calvin Newborn   Primary Artist,Guitar
Bill Easley   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Tony Reedus   Drums
Bill Mobley   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Jamil Nasser   Double Bass
Charles Thomas   Piano
Tom Lonardo   Drums
Charles Thomas   Piano
Tony Thomas   Organ

Technical Credits

Bill Mobley   Arranger
Jim Anderson   Engineer
Calvin Newborn   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Audio Production
Phineas Newborn   Composer
Pete Matthews   Engineer
Jeffrey Reed   Engineer
Brooke Barnett   Graphic Design
James Kimo Williams   Liner Notes

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