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About Calvin Newborn

The often overlooked brother of Phineas Newborn, guitarist Calvin Newborn had almost as much command of his instrument as his pianist sibling. He was an excellent melodic interpreter, playing with great fluidity and blues sensibility, and could smoothly execute complex chord progressions or subtly accompany vocalists. Newborn's problem was a lack of a recorded legacy and his willingness to remain in Memphis, where he played in local clubs and with various groups for several decades. Newborn worked and recorded with his brother from 1953 to 1958, and a year later joined Earl Hines. Newborn recorded with Hines in 1960, and toured and recorded with Lionel Hampton in both New York and Paris, as well as Jimmy Forrest, Wild Bill Davis, Al Grey, and Freddie Roach in the early '60s. Although Newborn has appeared on records most frequently as a sideman over the years, he issued a few dates as a leader during the '90s and into the 20th century, including From the Hip on Rooster Blues in 1993, Up City on Omnifarious in 1998, and New Born on Yellow Dog Records in 2005 (Yellow Dog also reissued Up City that same year). Clazz (Classical Jazz), a recording by the duo of Newborn and keyboardist/arranger Kenny Levine, appeared in 2011 on Omnifarious. Calvin Newborn died in Jacksonville, Florida, on December 1, 2018. ~ Ron Wynn

HOMETOWN
Whiteville, TN
GENRE
Blues
BORN
Apr 27, 1933

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