Calvin Newborn

Calvin Newborn, the guitarist and brother to Phineas Newborn is often overlooked. He has nearly as good command of his instrument than his pianist sibling. He is a great melodic interpreter and plays with great fluidity. His blues sensibility allows him to seamlessly execute complicated chord progressions and subtly assist vocalists. Newborn’s biggest problem was a lack of a recording legacy. He also wanted to stay in Memphis where he has played with many groups and in local clubs for many decades. From 1953 to 1958, Newborn recorded and worked with his brother. A year later, he joined Earl Hines. Newborn recorded with Hines 1960 and toured with Lionel Hampton in New York and Paris. He also recorded with Wild Bill Davis, Al Grey and Freddie Roach in early ’60s. While Newborn was most often a sideman on records over the years, he did issue a few dates as a leader on the ’90s, ’00s, and into the 20th Century. These included From the Hip on Rooster blues in 1993 and Up City on Omnifarious 1998. (Yellow Dog also reissued Up City in 2005). Clazz (Classical Jazz), a recording of Newborn and Kenny Levine was released in 2011 by Omnifarious. Allmusic

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