Sam Newsome

In the early 1990s, Sam Newsome was a member the Terence Blanchard Quintet. The core members were Blanchard on trumpet and Bruce Barth on piano. Tarus Mateen on bass and Troy Davis on drums. Newsome played the tenor saxophone. They toured the globe and recorded many CDs for Columbia/Sony, including the critically acclaimed “Malcolm X Jazz Suite.” Newsome was a member of the Terence Blanchard Quintet in the early 1990s. He felt uninspired by his tenor sound, as well as his inability to shake off his early influences. In 1996, Newsome made a radical change that saw him trade in his larger tenor saxophone for the more challenging soprano saxophone. Newsome explained that the soprano gave him the freedom to enjoy the sound without having to carry the weight of decades of great tenor saxophone tradition. The sound I was creating was mine. It was liberating.” Newsome began to study music from Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East, incorporating non-Western scales in his musical vocabulary. Global Unity was his first band and it would be his mainstay for seven years. Global Unity was made up of many musicians from around the globe: Elisabeth Kontomanou, Amos Hoffman, Marvin Sewell and Jean-Michel Pilc. Ugonna Okegwo was the bassist. Gilad Takeishi and Satoshi Takeishi were the percussionists. Two CDs were released: Sam Newsome

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