VIP TN HISTORICAL TIMELINE
Profusely creative, high energy, innovative, sensitive yet dynamic would be a few terms that could describe the artistry of music prophet Antonio (Tony) Newton, who stands as one of the most progressive, creative and influential music artists of this contemporary music era! Chances are you’ve heard Newton, a performer on over 25 million selling Gold recordings. Born and raised in Detroit MI., Newton began his career first on piano at age seven, beginning professionally at the tender age of thirteen, playing bass guitar with blues legends John Lee Hooker, T-B one Walker, Little Walter and other classic artists on the urban blues circuit. This was not without receiving initial recognition as an accomplished saxophone and woodwinds player in various orchestras and ensembles. Newton gained swift acclaim as one of the Midwest’s most prominent bassists through his association with Motown records. Newton was discovered by Motown executive Hank Cosby while playing in Detroit Blues clubs at the age of 16. He was chosen to replace James Jamerson as touring bassist with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Within two years Newton became Music Director for Smokey. He also toured with all of the Motown artists such as: Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Won- der, Four Tops, Temptations, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Spinners, and others. While at Motown from time to time, playing with the “Funk Brothers” he left his trademark of solid, hard driving, and deftly clever grooves on such timeless hits as “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Stop In The Name Of Love”, “Nowhere to Run” on the east coast, and on the west coast, “ABC’, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, and many others. Also a little unknown fact is that Newton and James Jamerson played together as 2 basses simultaneously on the above Motown Hits. Newton was also the bassist for the famed 1965 European Motown Review tour, mentioned in the film, “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”
In the following years, Newton gained swift acclaim as a prominent bassist in the music industry through his fat bass sound, infectious lines, and solid grooves on many hit recordings for Motown, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Warner Bros, CBS, Atlantic and others, Newton went on to establish himself as one of the most versatile musician-composers-producers in his field. He recorded and toured with rock, pop and r & b’s most celebrated figures — Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson (whom he served as bassist and music director,) Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Little Richard and many others. Newton was staff bassist for the talented songwriting-producing team Holland-Dozier-Holland and their Invictus-Hotwax label playing on several hits for artists, Freda Payne, 100 Proof, 8th Day, and others. Tony played on other Detroit recording studio-labels classic hits ie: Stax “The Dramatics, What You See is What You Get”, “Johnny Taylor’s, Part Time Lover”, and more.
Tony is a founding architect of the Jazz-Rock-Fusion genre from his two year, two LP recording and touring stint with Miles Davis Drummer Tony Williams and the Lifetime. Newton skyrocketed the association to the cutting edge of the high-energy and passionate style writing the now classic compositions, “Snake Oil and Red Alert” on the CBS critically acclaimed “Believe It” offering and lead vocalizing the funky, “You Did It To Me Baby” on “Million Dollar Legs” the second project from these exceptional music artists. As a testament to the quality of these compositions, these recordings have become classics and are still selling strong today even after more than 25 years. These classic recordings are cited historically in the “Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.”
Tony was also an integral member of British hard rock group “G-Force” with veteran guitarist Gary Moore.
Newton, degreed in classical composition and piano from LACC and Mt. St. Mary’s College, of Los Angeles, his formidable keyboard artistry featured in the Novaphonic series music catalog, are used in many film and video soundtracks, i.e.: “The Martin Luther King Awards,” and “Fields of Wrath”, The Cesar Chavez plight of farm workers story.
Additionally, Newton’s bass work is featured on Academy Award winning movie soundtracks to include Richard Gere’s “Breathless” and “An Officer and a Gentleman”. Performing professionally for over 3 legendary decades, from rock, funk, soul, fusion and new age jazz, from soundtracks to a Summit Symphony in seven movements, from inspiring solo piano and keyboard performances to masterly, heart thumping power-packed, high energy bass grooves, like we said earlier, chances are you’ve heard legendary bassist Antonio (Tony) Newton.
If music was a “box of colored crayons”, Newton has expanded the color palette ten-fold. His rich, expanded sounds, extended chordal developments and harmonics, along with his historic rhythmic vocabulary delivers the listener into a mind opening experience. His concerts feature the “Novaphonic Sound” – Newton’s acclaimed richly resonant system of Quartal and Quintal harmonics, never previously explored to this depth, both artistically and scientifically recognized body of work as a true evolution in music harmony.
The Michelangelo of piano and keyboards, he leaves you awestruck with his dense and broad spectrum of sounds. Antonio Newton, also a talented, highly creative music director and composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist who has written and played on movie soundtracks and scores, as well as a multitude of recordings dating back over 30 years as a prolific, musician’s musician and versatile music industry veteran.
A forever evolving performer, his works encompass rhythm & blues, jazz and rock fusion, symphonic compositions, funk, rock, jazz and new age and classical explorations. Newton’s piano studies have included studing privately with keyboard scholar Dr. Howard Barr and Olga Leitmekov, who have direct links to historical master classical composer-keyboardists, Donanyi and Fredrick Chopin. He received an
appointment as Dean of Electronic and Commercial Music at the University of Sound Arts and has taught MIDI at Los Angeles City College Community Services.
He plays with a profoundly dynamic emotional range and highly innovative, creative expression. His years as a bassist and bass clarinetist have developed Newton’s strong rhythmic fortitude and given him a strong and vibrant approach to deliver dynamic, monster left-hand bass parts on piano.
Tony also performed and composed with legendary guitarist and friend, Robby Krieger from the mega-group, The Doors, on Robby’s solo CD, “Cinematrix”
Antonio Newton’s career now continues to focus on THE SUMMIT SYMPHONY, his largest work today embodying the Novaphonic Quintal/Quartal harmonic sound.
“My music is made to bring out your better feelings . . . To expand and heal you on emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels,” he notes.
“My goals have always been to take people to a new elevated state of mind where new feelings and awareness of their potential could be discovered. I’m a big believer in the human potential movement,” he states: Ultimately, what I’m trying to do is push aside old thinking patterns and thoughts about music and spark some new awareness about sound, composition, and presentation, as well as tuning into your own possibilities and reaching toward higher paths. I am a big believer in the human potential movement.”