David "Fathead" Newman recorded this album for Atlantic during his stint with Ray Charles' band (which lasted from 1954-1964). Personnel on the album include Hank Crawford, Edgar Willis and Bruno Carr.
Personnel: David "Fathead" Newman (alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Marcus Belgrave (trumpet); Norris Austin, Hank Crawford (piano); Jimmy Jefferson, Edgar Willis (bass); Charlie Persip, Bruno Carr (drums).
Originally released on Atlantic (1399). Includes liner notes by Mort Fega.
This 1962 David "Fathead" Newman album picks up where 1961's STRAIGHT AHEAD left off. However, this release is slightly less bebop-oriented. Instead, Newman blends together hard bop with his own R&B roots. (He was a key member of Ray Charles's band for many years.)
FATHEAD COMES ON is a very bluesy album, but also contains its share of tricky melodies and ambitious arrangements. Highlights include "Unchain My Heart," which is the funkiest tune on the disc, and "Cellar-Groove," which begins with a clever train rhythm; here the locomotive sound is simulated by the repetitive hi-hat work of Charlie Persip and the boogie-woogie playing of pianist Norris Austin. The disc ends with "Lady Day," a tribute to Billie Holiday, which is, not surprisingly, a somber ballad. Hard-bop records from this era typically lean on the influence of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, but FATHEAD COMES ON is a statement unto itself, and therefore, a very compelling listen.