Trumpeter FARNELL NEWTON is one of soul and jazz’s unsung heroes. Now based in Portland, Oregon and a renowned music educator, he’s played with big names across all kinds of genres, most notably Jill Scott, Bootsy Collins, Lalah Hathaway, Ron Isley, R. Kelly, Cee Lo Green, Fantasia, Gladys Knight, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan, Najee, Will Downing, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire and more recently Jarrod Lawson.
Right now though Mr N is busy promoting his latest solo outing ‘7 Days Of Rain’. He tells us that he knows all about rain… Portland gets 43 inches of rain on average in a year and 154 rainy days per year. So the album is a kind of homage – we might even say a “concept” album – to the wet stuff!
You see the album has just seven tracks – with 6 named for each day of the week and all the tunes in different ways perfectly capture the mood of gentle rainy days – lazy and laconic with lashings of rain effects behind Farnell’s emotive horn. The “odd” tune is a lovely, clever and laid-back treatment of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’. Ironically it opens the rain drenched long player and though you’ve heard dozens of covers of ‘Sunny’ I heartily recommend this version to you. Umbrellas at the ready.
The band on the album, by the way, is Farnell Newton (trumpet and bass), Jason Fabus (Alto Saxophone), B. Lee aka BrandonLee (Tenor Saxophone), Tristan Burns, (Tenor Saxophone) and Mané Fernandes (Guitar) and ‘7 Days Of Rain’ is available now on Farnell’s LofiJazzSoul label.