Phineas Newborn, Jr.
A World of Piano!


5.0
classic

Review

by Josh D. USER (10 Reviews)
March 19th, 2012 | 12 replies | 1,827 views


Release Date: 1961 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A jazz classic that shouldn't need an introduction.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

The majority of today's population is, say, less than thrilled by jazz. It's understandable in some regards, but the lack of respect it gets, for how much it deserves, as an influential and varied genre is very much a shame. And this is without mention of it being one of the greatest American inventions and its grassroots campaign into rock and roll.

There is plenty of jazz being made today, but relishing the classics never goes out of style. When trying to insert it into modern times, the more accessible, the better. While Miles Davis and his band had some very accessible and quite varied albums, Phineas (pronounced fine-us) Newborn, Jr. had some of his own. Personally, piano driven jazz is much easier to get into, and that’s right where we find ourselves when listening to A World of Piano!.

His band is spot on, but Phineas is in his prime. Obviously, piano is the driving force of the album, and the playing is one step beyond masterful. Speed, technical skill, originality; the display is impressive. “Oleo” is an exhibition in feel-good jazz with an upbeat swing. I don’t know if he had eighty eight keys, but if he did, you can bet they were all used. The album isn’t all finger snapping grooves though. We get a more tasteful side with the elegance of “Lush Life”, a slower, more beautiful song with a New York City lounge feel.

It's clear that Phineas was the centerpiece, but nonetheless, he is not imposing. The band gets their fair share throughout all of the songs, collectively making a record that could make Rat Pack fans cream their pants. PNJ creates long solos layered over jumpy drums and frantic bass lines. It is jazz in every sense of the word, but crosses the border of accessibility through and through.

Comparatively, this is a short album. You can listen to Bitches Brew all day, but A World of Piano! sits confidently with modest time lengths, only breaking six minutes twice and never hitting the eight minute mark.

I’ve heard things like “if you can like any jazz album, it’s Kind of Blue”, or something to that effect. I found this album at the same time I started delving into Miles. You could insert this where Kind of Blue sits in that sentence and it would work. A World of Piano! can be just as sexy as it is a good time. When you think piano-driven jazz, you should be thinking A World of Piano!.



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user ratings (1)
5
classic

Comments:Add a Comment 
Josh D.
March 18th 2012



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Look what I did.

Nothing complex, just straight shootin'.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2012



49967 Comments


What year did he change his name to Morgan Freeman?

Josh D.
March 18th 2012



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad I'm still reviewing on sputnikmusic.com.

ThroneOfAgony
March 18th 2012



3485 Comments


Review was a bit vague but it was still good

pizzamachine
March 18th 2012



12571 Comments


sup

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2012



4400 Comments


a jazz fan, alright. good review, have a pos man.

Activista anti-MTV
March 19th 2012



3139 Comments


snazzy

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2012



7983 Comments


so how much piano is there

Josh D.
March 19th 2012



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A whole fucking world of it.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2012



7983 Comments


holy shit i don't know how to handle it

KILL
March 19th 2012



71167 Comments


josh d sucks

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

Josh D.
March 31st 2012



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I guess I 5'd this. Hmm.



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