David "Fathead" Newman : obit from The Dallas Observer

David "Fathead" Newman Has Died at 75

By Robert Wilonsky in Music News

Wednesday, Jan. 21 2009 @ 5:09PM

Josh Alan Friedman, who penned an amazing piece about the Texas Tenor
for the paper version of Unfair Park long ago, brings sad news today:
Corsicana-born, Dallas-raised sax great David "Fathead" Newman died
yesterday. There's only been one obituary, but a call to David's wife
and manager Karen offers further confirmation. Says a family friend
named Patty, he died last night following a long bout with pancreatic
cancer. Funeral services are being arranged, says Patty, and "there
will be a jazz service at a later date in New York."

Newman, who so beautifully straddled the line between jazz and R&B
throughout his estimable career, had one of the most illustrious
careers in modern music, stretching all the way from Lincoln High
School to bandleader Buster Smith to Ray Charles to Atlantic Records
to Aretha Franklin to ZuZu Bolin to Robert Altman's film Kansas City,
in which he had a small role as a sax player, but of course. As Josh
wrote in 1996, "Aside from his own 28 [albums], Newman estimates he
has played on some 400 pop, jazz, and blues albums as a star sideman."
He acquired his nickname while at Lincoln: As Sarah Hepola recounted
in the Observer in 2004, legendary band director J.K. Miller "called
him a 'fathead' after he bungled a note in class."

In his autobiography Brother Ray, co-written with native Dallasite
David Ritz, Charles wrote of his fondness for Newman, who joined his
band in 1954. "He was one of the best musicians I'd ever heard,"
Charles wrote, one who played with such "lyricism" and "sweetness."
Added Charles, "He could make his sax sings the song like no one
else." Fathead was such an enormous part of Charles's life that in the
2004 film Ray, Bokeem Woodbine portrayed the saxophone-playing
sideman. And it was Charles who lent his name to Newman's 1958 solo
debut: Fathead: Ray Charles Presents David Newman.

In '04, Newman told the Observer that playing with Charles "was like a
course in music appreciation... Ray loved jazz, blues, rock, rhythm
and blues, country and western, and classical. I was stuck in the
bebop era, and I didn't think there was anything other than bebop, but
he taught me differently."

In 2005, Newman released the album I Remember Brother Ray. It would be
among his last. His final album was 2008's Diamondhead, which also
featured South Dallas-born pianist Cedar Walton.

22:44 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: david fathead newman |  Facebook |


Freddie Hubbard R.I.P.

To close up the year 2008 we have to the disappearance of Freddie Hubbard. Well hopefully 2009 will be a better year for musicians, writers, actors etc. You can read here the NYT obit by Peter Keepnews.


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Omar Clay correction

Here's the correct link for the Omar Clay article i posted earlier!



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Prince Lasha R.I.P.

I got this email in my inbox this morning. It seems to me that 2008 is a hard year for all musicians, writers, actors haveing left us....

"I was just informed by a reliable source (John Handy) that the legendary flutist/saxophonist Prince Lasha passed away in Oakland, CA last night (Dec. 11). Many people will remember his own recordings (especially with Sonny Simmons) and his associations on records with Eric Dolphy, Elvin Jones and many others and in later years with Odean Pope. Lasha was born William Lawsha in Forth Worth, Texas on Sept. 10, 1929. Lasha (pronounced La-shay) went to school and was a boyhood friend of Ornette Coleman."


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Omar Clay R.I.P.


Jesse Hamlin, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, December 12, 2008

Omar Clay, a respected jazz drummer and teacher who recorded with dozens of
prominent musicians - among them Sarah Vaughan, Charles Mingus, Horace
Silver and Marian McPartland - died Dec. 4 in San Francisco of complications
from Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 73.

A valued player on the New York jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s, Mr. Clay
was featured in master drummer Max Roach's all-percussion ensemble M'Boom,
playing marimba, tympani, timbales and xylophone. He was equally at home
working with singer Ernestine Anderson and hard-blowing saxophonists like
David "Fathead" Newman, Frank Foster and Gene Ammons. During the day, he
taught at New York's High School of Music and Arts.

"Omar was one of the great drummers," said fellow percussionist Eddie
Marshall, who praised Mr. Clay's clean playing and steady ride-cymbal beat.
"He was really a traditionalist. He was a total team player. He never showed
off. He didn't thrash, but he swung."

Pianist Larry Vuckovich, who played and recorded often with Mr. Clay in
recent years, put it this way: "Omar was one of the most serious, dedicated
drummer-percussionists, possessing a wide range of knowledge, not only of
jazz but of classical music, both of which he taught. His jazz drumming
roots came from the Kenny Clarke bebop style, but expressed a feeling beyond
the bebop era, including a strong affinity for Latin music and other world
music forms. On the bandstand, Omar held to a very high standard, and at the
same time was very supportive and tuned into the other musicians."

Born in St. Louis, Mr. Clay grew up in Steubenville, Ohio. He had a keen ear
for classical music, listening to the Russians Shoshtakovich and
Rachmaninoff. He got a scholarship to study music at Xavier University in
New Orleans but left after a semester to join the Army. He played drums in
an Army jazz band stationed in Germany, then got a bachelor of music degree
at the University of Michigan. He played and taught in New York for nearly
20 years, working in jazz clubs and in the Broadway pits orchestras for
"Raisin" and "Guys and Dolls."

Mr. Clay moved to California in 1979, first to the Monterey and then San
Francisco, where he performed with various groups and got a master's degree
in music education at San Francisco State University. He taught around the
Bay Area until becoming music director at Tamalpais High School in Mill
Valley, where he also coached the golf team for a spell. He retired in 2000
but continued to perform, tour and golf.

Mr. Clay is survived by his longtime companion, Barbara Chew of San
Francisco; his mother, Elnora Jackson of Akron, Ohio; and a daughter, Wanda
Davis of Hayward.

A memorial is being planned for January.

The family requests donations be made in Mr. Clay's memory to the Forbes
Norris ALS Research Center, 2324 Sacramento St., Suite 111, San Francisco,
CA 94115; the music department at Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.,
Mill Valley, CA 94941; or the VA Medical Center, 4150 Clement St., San
Francisco, CA 94121.

11:48 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: omar clay |  Facebook |


Jimmy Gourley R.I.P.

Jimmy Gourley passed away on december 7th at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France where he lived for some 50 years already. Jimmy Gourley was 82.

23:10 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: jimmy gourley |  Facebook |


Freddie Hubbard

On Saturday, Freddie Hubbard suffered heart failure and has been in ICU ever since. Apparently he' s in critical condition.
Let's hope mr. Hubbard will make it...

23:03 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: freddie hubbard |  Facebook |