Phineas Newborn, Jr.: Lush Life


Lush Life



A World of Piano (Contemporary 9031 746372)

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Phineas Newborn, Jr. (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Composed by Billy Strayhorn


Recorded: Los Angeles, October 16, 1961


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

A lengthy quote from the second movement of Ravel's deeply impressionistic "Sonatine" ushers in a somewhat Tatum-esque rendering of the Strayhorn classic. Newborn has the technical ability to do it: speed, touch, and ideas at such speed too. But here he spares his gifts and focuses on depth and feeling. He stays close to a melody that has so much beauty it can keep the rangiest improvisers within its borders. So Newborn never strays far and mainly varies the pace from chorus to chorus, embellishing with limitless inspiration. Obviously a wise choice, given the fine result.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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