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Phineas Newborn, Jr. levittshellarchive video #26 Memphis Music
Seeded by levittshell on 16 Mar 2017
Author: Levitt Shell
Phineas Newborn Jr., one of the great geniuses of jazz piano, got his start in the late '40s in a band led by his father, a drummer. That band, which also featured his guitarist brother Calvin, was at the heart of the start of modern blues and rock on Beale Street and around Memphis. WIth them, young Phineas played on the earliest recordings of B.B. King and also toured with Jackie Brenston to support his scorching hit "Rocket 88" - the first rock & roll record made in Memphis. By the mid '50s Phineas Jr.'s extraordinary talent as a jazz pianist was discovered by Count Basie on a visit to Memphis which led to his long career as a recording artist with labels such as Atlantic, RCA & Contemporary. In this piece Newborn integrates Ravel into Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" to create an interpretation that was uniquely his own. He was ill when he made this appearance at the Overton Park Shell in 1989 and knew this could be his last performance. He died just 6 weeks later. The historic Memp
Presenter: Levitt Shell