The Artistry of … David ‘Fathead’ Newman

This week’s Artistry of … , Features David ‘Fathead’ Newman

It does not get much more soulful than the music making of the late David Fathead Newman. Sax and flute player he was a king among the greatest of the session players and led bands with as much moxy as he supported with as a sideman to the legendary Ray Charles. A big tone jazz sax player the sound is unmistakable and right there in front of you. A Texan by birth maybe his big tone could not be helped? He earned the nickname “Fathead” from his high school band teacher because he stubbornly refused to learn to read music, preferring instead to take it in by ear. The musical montage through his career includes jazz, blues, Tex-Mex, R&B and soul. The artistry is all about the big sound and that early on sensibility of stubbornness demanding a direct route to the music.