James Newton
Biography & Bibliography



James Newton

geboren: 1. Mai 1953, Los Angeles, California/USA

James Newton wuchs in mit den Klängen von Urban Blues, Rhythm 'n' Blues und Gospel auf, die seine Eltern hörten und spielten. Fünf Jahre seinr Kindheit verbrachte er in Deutschland, wo sein Vater stationiert war. Mit 12 Jahren spielte er Bass in einer lokalen R&B-Band, mit 15 gründete er zusammen mit einem Gitarristen ein Trio, das Musik in der Tradition Jimi Hendrix' machte. In der High School ergriff er die Flöte, erhielt klassischen Unterricht, studierte aber auch beim Jazzsaxophonisten und -flötisten Buddy Collette. Von 1972 bis 1975 Jahren war Newton zusammen mit den gleichaltrigen Musikern Arthur Blythe, David Murray Mitglied der Gruppe Black Music Infinity des Schlagzeugers (und späteren Kritikers) Stanley Crouch. Von 1978-81 lebte Newton in New York, spielte mit Musikern wie Cecil Taylor, Lester Bowie und leitete ein Trio mit dem Pianisten Anthony Davis und dem Cellisten Abdul Wadud. Die drei spielten kammermusikalischen zeitgenössischen Jazz, Kompositionen von Newton und Davis. In den 1980er und 1990er Jahren arbeitete Newton oft mit Musikern anderer Kulturkreise zusammen, beschäftigte sich mit japanischer, indischer und chinesischer Musik. Er nahm an einigen Projekten seines Kollegen David Murray teil und tourte gegen Ende der 1990er Jahre mit diesem zusammen mit einem Ensemble, in dem sie die Musik Duke Ellingtons feierten. Neben seinen Jazzaktivitäten ist Newton auch in der klassischen Musik aktiv, spielte mit unzähligen Kammermusikensembles und Sinfonieorchestern, schrieb auch etliche Kompositionen im eher klassischen Idiom. 1989 veröffentlichte er eine Anleitung zur Improvisation auf der Flöte (The Improvising Flute). 2002 kam Newton mit seiner Klage gegen die Popgruppe Beatie Boys in die Schlagzeilen, die Teile seiner Komposition "Choir" für ihren Hit "Pass the Mic" gesampelt hatten. Seine Klage vor dem US-Bundesgericht wurde abgewiesen. (Der Fall machte es sogar ins amerikanische Gerichtsentertainment: siehe hier [Link geprüft 4/2003]) James Newton zählt zu den herausragenden Flötisten des Jazz, besitzt ein sehr sauberes, klassisches Timbre. Seine Aufnahmen mit Anthony Davis gehören zu den überzeugendsten Beispielen eines zeitgenössischen Third Stream. [Wolfram Knauer]


James Newton

born: 1. May 1953, Los Angeles, California/USA

James Newton grew up to the sounds of Urban Blues, Rhythm 'n' Blues and Gospel music heard and played by his parents. He spent five years of his childhood in Germany, where his father was staioned. At the age of 12 he played bass in a local R&B band, at 15 together with a guitarrist he founded a trio playing music in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix. In High School Newton learned to play the flute, taking classical lessons, at the same time studying with jazz saxophonist and flutist Buddy Collette. From 1972 to 1975 together with Arthur Blythe and David Murray he was member of drummer (and later critic) Stanley Crouch's group Black Music Infinity. From 1978-81 Newton lived in New York, playing with Cecil Taylor and Lester Bowie and leading a trio with pianist Anthony Davis and cellist Abdul Wadud. These three played chamber music like contemporary jazz, mostly compositions by Newton and Davis. In the 1980s and 1990s Newton often worked with musicians from other cultural spheres, studied Japanese, Indian and Chinese music. He also participated in some projects with his colleague David Murray and at the end of the 1990s toured in an ensemble he co-led with Murray playing music dedicated to the memory of Duke Ellington. Besides his many activities in jazz Newton also participates in the world of classical music, regularly performing with chamber music groups and symphony orchestras. He wrote several compositions which are more in the classical idiom. In 1989 he published a method book for improvising on the flute (The Improvising Flute). In 2002 Newton made the news when he sued the pop group Beastie Boys who for their it record "Pass the Mic" had used samples made from Newtons composition "Choir". The US Federal Court ruled against Newton. This case even made it into US court entertainment: see here. James Newton belongs to the most important flutists in jazz, playing with a pure tone, a more or less classical timbre. His recordings with Anthony Davis belong to the most convincing examples of a contemporary Third Stream. [Wolfram Knauer]


Jazz Index: James Newton

The following bibliographical information relates to periodicals and books present in the archive of the Jazz-Institut Darmstadt. Our extensive periodical collection comprises 1.000 periodicals, more than 60.000 single issues. About 50% of the collection have been indexed. 

Following the more recent entries you'll find abbreviations which will give you a clue about the nature in the respective articles. The abbreviations are: 

(A) = analytical remarks 
(B) = extensive book review 

(BT) = blindfold test 

(C) = concert review 

(D) = discography
(F) = feature article
(I) = interview 
  

("I") = article written by the respective musician himself 
(N) = very short news item

(O) = obituary
(R) = extensive record review 

(T) = transcription
[vert.file] = xerox copy archived at Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
[digi.file] = digital copy archived at Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

The Jazz Index on this page has been compiled and updated 10. January 2006 by Wolfram Knauer

Encyclopedia entries:
  • Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley: Jazz. The Essential Companion, London 1987
  • Barry Kernfeld (ed.): New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, London 1988
  • Martin Kunzler (ed.): ro-ro-ro Jazz-Lexikon, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1988
  • Philippe Carles, André Clergeat, Jean-Louis Comolli: Dictionnaire du Jazz, Paris 1988
  • Carlo Bohländer, Karl Heinz Holler, Christian Pfarr: Reclams Jazzführer, Stuttgart 1989
  • Philippe Carles, André Clergeat, Jean-Louis Comolli: Dictionnaire du Jazz, Paris 4/1995
  • Ian Carr & Digby Fairweather & Brian Priestley: Jazz Rough Guide, Stuttgart 1999
  • Leonard Feather & Ira Gitler: The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, New York 1999
  • Barry Kernfeld (ed.): New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, London 2001

1978:

  • George Coppens: James Newton Interview, in: Coda, #162 (Aug.1978), p. 4-8 (I)
  • Scott Albin: Caught. James Newton, Environ, New York City, in: Down Beat, 45/16 (5.Oct.1978), p. 52 (C) [digi.copy]

1979:

  • Alex Dutilh: Concerts. Anthony Davis/James Newton, in: Jazz Hot, #358 (Feb.1979), p. 45 (C)
  • Bill Smith: James Newton, The Music Gallery, Toronto, in: Coda, #164/165 (Feb.1979), p. 57 (C)
  • Pierre-Henri Ardonceau: Sigma/Jazz Focus, in: Jazz Magazine, #272 (Feb.1979), p. 16-17 (C)
  • Roger Riggins: James Newton Quartet, La Mama, New York City, in: Coda, #164/165 (Feb.1979), p. 55-56 (C)
  • Serge Loupien: Jazz en direct. Newton/Davis, in: Jazz Magazine, #272 (Feb.1979), p. 19 (C)
  • Serge Loupien & Gérard Rouy: L'unique amour de James Newton, in: Jazz Magazine, #277 (Jul/Aug.1979), p. 36-37, 64 (I)
  • Michael Zipkin: Blindfold Test. Oliver Lake, in: Down Beat, 46/14 (9.Aug.1979), p. 45 (BT: Wilson Pickett: "Ninety-Nine and Ole-Half"; Otis Redding: "Shake"; Jackie McLean: "Jacknife"; Eric Dolphy: "Out to Lunch" / "Gazzelloni"; James Newton: "San Pedro Sketches"; Anthony Braxton: "BWC-12 N-48K, Stage 3" / "RFO-M' F (32)"; Ornette Coleman: "Home Grown")
  • Patrick Williams: Journal d'un amateur Parisien: Anthony Davis/James Newton, in: Jazz 360, # 23 (Dec.1979), p. 9-10 (C)

1980:

  • Pierre-André Monti: Les Concerts. McPhee/Newton/Davis, in: Jazz 360, # 24 (Jan.1980), p. 6 (C)
  • H. Lukas Lindenmaier: James Newton - a short talk, in: Cadence, 6/2 (Feb.1980), p. 5-6 (I)
  • Clifford Jay Safane: Profile. James Newton, in: Down Beat, 47/3 (Mar.1980), po. 54-55 (F/I)
  • Larry Birnbaum: Anthony Davis/James Newton Quartet - "Hidden Voices"; Anthony Davis - "Of Blues and Dreams", in: Down Beat, 47/7 (Jul.1980), p. 44-45 (R)
  • Char Ham: James Newton Interview, in: Cadence, 6/8 (Aug.1980), p. 5-7, 18 (I)
  • Olivier Danos: Festival de Paris. James Newton, in: Jazz Magazine, # 292 (Dec.1980), p. 15 (C)

1981:

  • J. Rothestein: James Newton - The Mystery School, in: Down Beat, 48/9 (1981), p. 42 (R)
  • R. Zabor: Keith Jarrett and James Newton on the Classics, in: Musician, #32 (1981), p. 77-78
  • Leonard Feather: Blindfold Test. James Newton, in: Down Beat, 48/6 (Jun.1981), p. 51 (BT: Yusef Lateef: "Nile Valley"; Sam Rivers: "Involution"; Sam Most: "You Are Always the One"; Eric Dolphy: "Gazzelloni"; Frank Wess: "Mishawaka"; Joe Farrell: "Sweet Rita")

1982:

  • C. Stern: Faces. James Newton, in: Musician, #42 (1982), p. 35
  • Jan Balleras: James Newton - Portraits, in: Down Beat, 49/12 (1982), p. 30, 32 (R)
  • Lee Jeske: James Newton Flute Quartet, The Public Theatre, New York City, in: Down Beat, 49/4 (1982), p. 55 (C)
  • M. Fine: James Newton - The Mystery School, in: Jazz Forum, #74 (1982), p. 45-46 (R)
  • P. Kostakis: James Newton - Axum, in: Down Beat, 49/8 (1982), p. 39-40 (R)
  • Daniel Soutif: Jazz en direct. Newton/Philips, in: Jazz Magazine, # 309 (Jul/Aug.1982), p. 13 (C)
  • Jon Balleras: James Newton - "Portraits" (India Navigation), in: Down Beat, 49/12 (Dec.1982), p. 30, 32 (R)
  • Leonard Feather: Blindfold Test. Paquito D'Rivera, in: Down Beat, 49/12 (Dec.1982), p. 55 (BT: Arthur Blythe: "Jitterbug Waltz"; Wynton Marsalis: "Father Time"; Elvin Jones: "Never Let Me Go"; Ornette Coleman: "School Work"; Eric Schneider: "Chega de Saudade"; James Newton: "Monk's Notice"; Charlie Parker: "Just Friends")

1983:

  • C. Stern: James Newton - James Newton, in: Musician, #58 (1983), p. 89 (R)
  • D. Palmer: Anthony Davis/James Newton + Abdul Wadud - "I've Known Rivers", in: Musician, #53 (1983), p. 85, 94 (R)
  • Jeffrey Rona: Pro Session. James Newton's Solo on "Feeling". A Flute Transcription, in: Down Beat, 50/4 (Apr.1983), p. 56-57 (A/T)
  • Lee Jeske: James Newton, in: Down Beat, 50/4 (Apr.1983), p. 24-26 (F/I)
  • Stephen Mamula: Anthony Davis & James Newton & Abdul Wadud - "I've Known Rivers" (Gramavision), in: Down Beat, 50/4 (Apr.1983), p. 36 (R)
  • H.-J. Anderle: James Newton solo. Große Spannweite des Ausdrucks, in: Jazz Podium, 32/5 (1983), p. 16-17
  • Franck Bergerot: Denis Barbier. La flute d'abord, in: Jazz Hot, #403 (Sep.1983), p. 19-21 (F/I/BT: Charles Mingus: Praying with Eric; Jan Garbarek: Awakening; James Newton/Anthony Davis: Hidden Voices; Bill Evans/Jeremy Steig: Lover Man; François Couturuer/Jean-Paul Celea: Trans Europ Express; Chick Corea: Windows; Hozan Yamamoto: Silver World)

1984:

  • K. Zgraja: James Newton - Axum/ The Mystery School, in: Jazz Forum, #91 (1984), p. 53-54 (R)
  • Carola Lems: Gehoord en Gezien. Concert - James Newton Quartet, in: Jazz Nu, 6/65 (Mar.1984), p. 210 (C)
  • Lothar Jänichen: James Newton Quartett. Neue Flötentöne, in: Jazz Podium, 33/3 (1984), p. 31
  • Eric Snyder: James Newton. Flute for Thought, in: Jazziz, 1/4 (Apr.1984), p. 16-18 (F/I)
  • Gudrun Endress: James Newton, in: Jazz Podium, 33/4 (1984), p. 6-9
  • Eric Snider: James Newton. Flute for Thought, in: Jazziz, 1/4 (Jul/Aug.1984), p. 16-18 (F/I)

1985:

  • Gary Giddins: Composers Ascendent, in: Gary Giddins: Rhythm-A-Ning. Jazz Tradition and Innovation in the 80's, New York 1985 [book], p. 59-63 (F)
  • W. Gschwender: James Newton - Luella, in: Jazz Podium 34/1 (1985), p. 50, 52 (R)

1986:

  • Hubert Böhm: James Newton. Avantgardistischer Traditionalist, in: Flöte aktuell, 2/1986, p. 18 (F) [vert.file]
  • Kevin Whitehead: James Newton - "The African Flower" (Blue Note), in: Down Beat, 53/5 (May 1986), p. 30 (R)
  • Kevin Whitehead: James Newton - The African Flower, in: Down Beat, 53/5 (1986), p. 30 (R)

1987:

  • E. Guregian: James Newton - Water Mystery, in: Down Beat, 54/1 (Jan.1987), p. 36 (R)
  • Elaine Guregian: James Newton - "Water Mystery" (Gramavision), in: Down Beat, 54/1 (Jan.1987), p. 36 (R)
  • Kevin Whitehead: James Newton - "Romance and Revolution" (Blue Note), in: Down Beat, 54/6 (Jun.1987), p. 30 (R)

1988:

  • Hubert Böhm: Aspekte zur Entwicklung des Flötenspiels im Jazz zwischen 1950 und 1980, in: Jazzforschung/jazz research, 20 (1988), p. 9-54 (F/A)
  • Huub Bogaers: De inspiratiebronnen van James Newton, in: Jazz Freak, 16/2 (Nov/Dec.1988), p. 14-15 (I)

1989:

  • Art Lange: Solo/Duo Impression - In Venice, in: Down Beat, 56/2 (Feb.1989), p. 40 (R)

1990:

  • Jaromir Navràtil: Una voce dal sud. James Newton, in: Blu Jazz, 2/6 (1990), p. 17-19 (I)

1991:

  • Bob Hershon: James Newton, in: California Jazz Now, 1/2 (Jul.1991), p. 7, 12-13 (F/I)
  • Larry Birnbaum: David Murray & James Newton. The Soul of the Church, in: Down Beat, 58/11 (Nov.1991), p. 24-25 (F/I)

1992:

  • Scott Yanow: Jazz Education. An Informal Survey, in: Jazz Times, 22/8 (Oct.1992), p. 47-8 (short I mit Gary Burton, Bill Pierce, Ryan Kisor, Frank Gambale, Dave Liebman, Janet Lawson, Jackie McLeabn, Delfeayo Marsalis, James Newton, Bob Belden, Bunky Green, Sheila Jordan)

1993:

  • Michele Mannucci: Jazz Live. James Newton e Anthony Davis, in: Musica Jazz, 49/5 (May.1993), p. 6-7 (C)

1994:

  • Tilmann Dehnhard: James Newton, in: Tilmann Dehnhard: Die Flöte im Jazz. Ein Überblick anhand von zwölf ausgewählten Solotranskriptionen, Berlin 1994 [Examensarbeit], p. 44-46 (A/T: Forever Charles)
  • Willard Jenkins: James Newton's Suite Sounds, in: Jazz Times, 24/4 (May 1994), p. 42, 105 (F/I)

1995:

  • John Janowiak: Jazz on Campus. Newton Teaches Spirit of Flute Improvisation, in: Down Beat, 62/2 (Feb.1995), p. 58 (F/I)
  • Aaron Cohen: James Newton. Mystery School, in: Coda, #263 (Sep/Oct.1995), p. 13-15 (F/I)

1997:

  • Enzo Boddi: Jazz Live. Siena - James Newton con l'Orchestra Nazionale Giovanile di Jazz, in: Musica Jazz, 53/4 (Apr.1997), p. 10 (C)
  • Stefano Zenni: James Newton vola alto, in: Musica Jazz, 53/4 (Apr.1997), p. 22 (F/I)
  • Dan Ouellette: Tradin' Fours. James Newton - Stretching the Flute's Boundaries, in: Down Beat, 64/6 (Jun.1997), p. 42 (F/I)
  • Denis-Constant Martin: En direct. Murray-Newton, in: Jazz Magazine, #476 (Dec.1997), p. 10 (C)

1998:

  • Michele Mannucci: Jazz Live. Parigi - David Murray/James Newton Big Band: Amérique. Hommage à Mr. Ellington, in: Musica Jazz, 54/1 (Jan.1998), p. 13 (C)

1999:

  • Howard Mandel: Modern Maturity, in: Howard Mandel: Future Jazz, New York 1999 [book: Oxford University Press], p. 109-144 (F/I with James Newton, Michael Brecker, Robin Eubanks, Joe Lovano, Anthony Davis, Geri Allen, Hank Jones)
  • Guido Festinese: James Newton. Operista in nero, in: Musica Jazz, 55/1 (Jan.1999), p. 26-29 (F/I)

2002:

  • NN: Jazz Composer James Newton Appeals Beastie Boys Sample Ruling, [press notice], 10.Jun.2002 (F/I) [vert.file]
  • Geoff Boucher: A Musician Writes it, a Rapper Borrows It. A Sawp or a Theft? Notes written by a jazz musician and then used repeatedly by the Beastie Boys on an album are at the center of a debate on artistic freedom, in: Los Angeles Times, 21.Sep.2002 (F/I) [vert.file] [digi.copy]
  • NN: Un appello di James Newton, in: Jazzit, 4/12 (Sep/Oct.2002), p. 7-8 ("I": copyright struggle with Beastie Boys)
  • James Newton: e-mail, 12.Oct.2002 ("I": about trial with The Beastie Boys) [vert.file] [digi.copy]
  • Mark Bazer: James Newton vs. The Beatie Boys, in: Down Beat, 69/10 (Oct.2002), p. 25 (F/I)

2003:

  • Gary Giddins: Cadenza. Beastly Boys. The Beastie Boys sampled a figure from the opening of James Newton's "Choir" for "Pass the Mic". Newton has received no money for the work, in: Jazz Times, 33/2 (Mar.2003), p. 42 (F)

2004:

  • Aaron Cohen: James Newton on Duke Ellington, in: Down Beat, 71/7 (Jul.2004), p. 30 (I)
  • NN: U.S. Court Upholds Beastie Boys' Musical Sampling, in: New York Times, 9.Nov.2004 (F) [vert.file] [digi.copy]

2005:

  • NN: Court Won't File Beastie Boys Lawsuit, in: New York Times, 13.Jun.2005 (F) [vert.file] [digi.copy]



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