Tag Archives: Phineas Newborn jr.

Phineas Newborn Jr.(5)

October 22, 2016


In 1989 Phineas Newborn Jr. died in his home town of Memphis of lung cancer.

Newborn was buried in a pauper’s grave in the Memphis National Cemetery.

Sadly he was a very poor person at that time.

Consequently the Jazz Foundation of America was established in the wake of his death.


Nat Hentoff insisted that all musician need to organize foundation to cover the medical expenses and other financial needs.

In 1989 the Jazz Foundation of America was organized as non profit organization.

Please refer to about Jazz Foundation of America.Go here

I want to introduce his last performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis in 1989.

Unfortunately he died just 6 weeks later.

Here is Roy Haynes, Phineas Newborn & Paul Chambers play “Sugar Ray”.

Here is Phineas Newborn, Jr. plays last performance “Lush Life”.






Phineas Newborn Jr.(4)

October 21, 2016


I guess he might worry about his evaluation by critics.

Unfortunately he suffered a nervous breakdown and furthermore had been alcoholism.

As a result of his mental collapse, he spent time at Camarillo State Hospital.


By the way I want to introduce my favorite album.

Before Contemporary recording,he recorded two albums in Roulette label.

I am fond of “I Love a Piano” as individual.

He was relaxed and enjoyed his playing on recording.

In particular “The Midnight sun Never Sets “ was best.


He recorded this piece again at “Solo Piano” in 1974.

But I’m not pleased with his performance at Atlantic label.

We can confirm that his condition had been got worse from his performance.

Unexpectedly It’s a Grammy nominated album.

Photo of Teddy Reid

Photo of Teddy Reig


Incidentally “I Love a Piano” was recorded by the legend producer Teddy Reig.

Two months ago I posted about Teddy Reig. Go here, and here, and here, and here, and here 

Here is Phineas Newborn Jr. plays “The Midnight Sun Will Never Sets”(1969)

Please compare with the Roulette label.

 “The Midnight Sun Will Never Sets”(1974) at Atlantic label.Go here

Phineas Newborn Jr.(3)

October 20, 2016


After he moved to Los Angeles in 1960, he recorded his typical piano trio albums for the Contemporary label.

However, some critics didn’t evaluated his prodigious technique on his recording.

As a specific example,I will quote the past article of Jazz profiles by Steven Cerra.Go here

As the late Jazz writer, Leonard Feather, pointed out in his liner notes to Phineas Newborn, Jr.: A World of Piano [Contemporary LP S-7600; OJCCD 175-2]:

“There has always been a tendency among music experts, and by no means only in jazz, to harbor misgivings about technical perfection. The automatic-reflex reaction is: yes, all the notes are there and all the fingers are flying, but what is he really saying? How about the emotional communication?


But Leonard Feather was evaluating the equivalent to Art Tatum and Buddy Defranco about his prodigious technique.

I guess some critics evaluated jazz musician by an emotional expression than a terrific technique.

Here is Phineas Newborn Jr. Trio plays “Domingo”.

Phineas Newborn Jr.(2)

October 19, 2016

Phineas Newborn, Jr. recorded steadily as a leader and sideman throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.

In 1952 in Memphis, Count Basie heard Newborn’s playing.

Basie brought him to the legendary producer John Hammond.

Then he moved to the East Coast by Hammond’s encouragement.

From 1956 he began to perform in New York City, making his first album as a leader in that year.


“Here Is Phineas” was the debut album which recorded in 1956 and released on the Atlantic label.

He was transferred to RCA Victor label from his second work.

Unfortunately RCA Victor recordings were a complete failure.

So he went to work as a solo pianist in Stockholm and Rome.


In 1958 he joined a legend recording Roy Haynes’ “We Three”.

Here is Phineas Newborn Jr. plays “Barbados” (1956) 

Here is Phineas Newborn Jr Quartet play “Overtime”(1956).

Here is Phineas Newborn Jr. plays “My Ship” in Stockholm(1958) .

Here is Roy Haynes plays “Reflection” with Phineas Newborn Jr. and Paul Chambers(1958).

Phineas Newborn jr.(1)

October 18, 2016


Recently I watched a interesting clip on YouTube.

Phineas Newborn jr. was playing with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Kenny Dennis.

It seem to come from the Jazz Scene USA televison program hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr., in the early 1960s.

Here is Phineas Newborn jr. plays “Lush Life”.


Also his masterpiece record  “A World of Piano!” was introduced by Oscar Brown, Jr..

This week I will post about Phineas Newborn jr..

Phineas Newborn jr. was born December 14, 1931 in Whiteville, Tennessee.

He had played often in Memphis with his father and younger brother in the late 1940s in an R&B band.


This image is his first record with his brother.

Below I quoted from “Phineas Newborn Jr. Discography”.

Phineas Newborn (piano) Calvin Newborn (guitar) unknown (bass) unknown (drums)
Houston, TX, 1953
ACA 2416 How High The Moon Peacock’s Progressive Jazz 500
ACA 2417 ‘Round Midnight –

We can see all scene on this program “Jazz Scene USA 1962”.