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Listen here:

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"Combination of Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Erroll Garner, Bud Powell, Nat Cole"
~Don L. McIver 

"His execution is still something to make most pianists want to put their head in a gas oven."
~Bob Dawbarn, critic

Phineas Newborn Jr. 

& Stephanie Aaron

b. December 14th, 1931  Whiteville, Tennessee

d. May 26th, 1989 Memphis Tennessee

  • Father was a bandleader that performed at the Flamingo Club on Memphis' Beale Street

  • Brother was a guitar player

  • Was a child prodigy. Could also play saxophone, trumpet, and vibes

  • Wrote an arrangement for his high school ballet that got written up in several Memphis papers

  • Toured with the army service band 1945-53

  • In 1952, Count Basie heard him playing with the army service band after Benny Powell convinced him to let Phineas sit-in

  • Basie arranged for his first New York performance in May 1956

  • performed on early BB King albums and is credited as introducing BB to jazz

  • Earned a Grammy nomination for "Solo Piano" 1974

"The greatest pianist playing today."
~Gene Harris, pianist

Here is Phineas

recorded May 3rd and 4th, 1956

Phineas Newborn Jr. - piano

Oscar Pettiford - bass

Kenny Clarke - drums

Calvin Newborn - guitar

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Atlantic LP 1235

A  World of Piano

recorded October 16th (1-4) and November 21st (5-8), 1961

Phineas Newborn Jr. - piano

Paul Chambers (1-4) and Sam Jones (5-8) - bass

Philly Joe Jones (1-4) and Louis Hayes (5-8) - drums

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Contemporary Records S7600

Solo Piano

recorded January 1974

Phineas Newborn Jr. - piano

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Atlantic SD1672

Music featured in episode:

Episode One Available now on Spotify and Anchor. More platforms coming soon!