Phineas Newborn Jr. – A World Of Piano!


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Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds are proud to continue the Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series for 2023 with seven album releases from the Contemporary Records catalog, celebrating 70 years of the legendary jazz label. The releases are supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings.

Each title, originally engineered by Roy DuNann and/or Howard Holzer, features all-analog mastering from the original tapes by legendary engineer Bernie Grundman (himself a former employee of the label), as well as unsurpassed audiophile pressing on 180-gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings, presented in a Stoughton Printing old-style tip-on jacket.

The series highlights gems from Contemporary’s extraordinary catalog and features artists who both defined and expanded the sound of West Coast jazz.

American jazz piano virtuoso Phineas Newborn Jr. recorded A World of Piano! in 1961 for the Contemporary label, which released it in June 1962. Newborn performs five jazz standards and three lesser-known rarities by jazz composers on this superb album.

The album consists of tracks from two 1961 sessions paring the pianist with two all-star rhythm sections: Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones (October 16) and Sam Jones and Louis Hayes (November 21).

Founded in 1951 by film producer, screenwriter and record collector Lester Koenig (1917-1977), Contemporary Records became the epicenter of the West Coast jazz scene, while its cutting-edge approach to sound and design attracted some of the era’s most exciting artists. The Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series — which launched in the spring of 2022 with titles by Art Pepper, Barney Kessel and Benny Carter, among others — honors the label’s rich legacy through meticulous reissues that highlight the label’s influential classics, as well as its must-hear rarities.

Since its initial rollout, the series has earned accolades from a slew of outlets, including JazzTimes, which spoke to the impact of the label, reflecting: “Artists, producers, and engineers alike have held Contemporary aloft…as a label dedicated to presenting jazz at its absolute purest, richest, and live-est,” adding that the new reissues “are living, breathing proof of that label’s hotly cutting clarity.” Audiophile Review, meanwhile, marveled at the stereo pressing of Art Pepper + ElevenModern Jazz Classics, which it called “top-notch,” elaborating that it sounds “richer and more inviting…deliver[ing] a bit more cinemascopic ‘view’ of the group.” Praising Hampton Hawes’ Four! as “pristine,” Audiophile Audition added, “Kudos to Craft Recordings for re-introducing a brilliant pianist.”

(Tracks 1-4)
Phineas Newborn Jr., piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums
Recorded in Los Angeles, Oct. 16, 1961

(Tracks 5-8)
Phineas Newborn Jr., piano
Sam Jones, bass
Louis Hayes, drums
Recorded in Los Angeles, November 21, 1961

Additional information

Weight 0,8 kg

Contemporary Records (Acoustic Sounds Series)

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180 Gram Vinyl Record

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Side A

  • Cheryl
  • Manteca
  • Lush Life
  • Dahoud

Side B

  • Oleo
  • Juicy Lucy
  • For Carl
  • Cabu