James Newton Biography

1 May 1953, Los Angeles, California, USA. Already playing a host of reed instruments, Newton took up the flute when he was 17 years old. After three years in Stanley Crouch’s Black Music Infinity (1972-75), playing saxophones alongside Arthur Blythe and David Murray, Newton moved to New York in 1978. By now working only on flute, he led groups with Anthony Davis, an important association that continues. He also played with Cecil Taylor and began recording as a leader. As well as experimenting with unusual flute techniques found in modern classical music, Newton has developed the art of humming and playing simultaneously to the degree of producing contrapuntal lines. Newton taught at the University of California, Irvine during the 90s, and late in the decade was composer-in-residence at the Societa Italiana Par Lo Studio Della Musica Afro Americana in Pescara, Italy. His extensive collaborations have resulted in live and recorded sessions with artists as diverse as saxophonist Murray, drummer Andrew Cyrille, flautist Yacouba Alzouma and Chinese erhu player Chen Jie-Bing. His 1997 trio session with Indian alto saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath and mridangam drummer P. Svinivasan was a mesmerising fusion of jazz and raga rhythms.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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