Joe Newman was a superb, exciting trumpeter whose style echoed the best of Harry Edison, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thad Jones, seasoned with his own flavoring. He was among a select corps who not only enjoyed playing, but communicated that joy and exuberance in every solo. He provided high-note and upper-register antics, but functioned best doing soft, enticing melodies or engaging in mildly combative jam sessions. He was also an accomplished player in the traditional New Orleans style. Newman began his professional career with Lionel Hampton in 1942 and 1943, joining him after touring with the Alabama State Teachers College band. Newman became a member of the Count Basie orchestra in 1943, remaining until 1947. He co-led groups with Illinois Jacquet and J.C. Heard, before returning to the Basie band for a great run from 1952 to 1961. During that time, there were periodic outside recording sessions. Newman did sessions for Savoy, Vanguard, and RCA in the '50s, most of them small-combo and tasteful, enjoyable outings. The 1956 album Salute to Satch was with a big band. The Happy Cats was a sextet date. There was a quintet session with Zoot Sims on Roulette and another Roulette recording with an 11-piece band. Newman toured Europe with the Basie band in 1954. During the early '60s, he continued recording and touring with Basie and making other sides on his own. These included sessions with Tommy Flanagan for Prestige and a quartet set for Stash. There was a 1962 Russian tour with Benny Goodman. Newman became involved with Jazz Interaction, an organization promoting awareness and jazz education in the early '60s, and soon became a tireless advocate. He assumed the organization's presidency in 1967. Newman also wrote compositions for their organization. He began playing with the New York Repertory Orchestra in 1974, and toured Europe and the Soviet Union with them in 1975. During the '70s, '80s, and '90s, Newman juggled educating, recording, and doing an infrequent reunion with the Basie orchestra. He made nice sessions with Ruby Braff and Jimmy Rowles in the '70s and Joe Wilder and Hank Jones in the '80s. ~ Ron WynnPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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