A pair of early Roulette albums from Phineas Newborn
! Piano Portrats features evocative piano portraits from Phineas Newborn
– played in an illustrative style that's mighty nice! Newborn
's got a touch on the keys that's like few other players we can think of – rich and full, yet without being too flowery or sentimental – a really nice balance that stands out best at this key point in his career. Trio backing is important to the sound, too – thanks to sensitive drum work from Roy Haynes, and very subtle bass from John Simmons. Titles include "Star Eyes", "Golden Earrings", "For Left Hand Only", "Chelsea Bridge", and "Caravan". I Love A Piano is a compelling little record from pianist Phineas Newborn
's got a touch on the piano that's unlike anyone else – kind of a key link between a number of different 50s modes – on the one hand the warmth and feeling you might get from some of the more laidback mainstream stylists, but on the other a sense of poise and economy that ranks right up there with the best small combo players too – really carefully balanced on a record like this, which does a great job of dispersing the energy over the tracks. Backing features John Simmons on bass and Roy Haynes on drums – and titles include "Love & Marriage", "Real Gone Guy", "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You", "I've Got The World On A String", and "Ivy League Blues".
(Cover has a small trace of tape in one corner.)