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Dale Fielder Reviews


Dale Fielder & Friends @ The Oliveyard Annual Jazz Party 08/01/2009 Hipster Sanctuary
Pasadena,California_ LA based composer,saxophonist, Dale Fielder and his quartet , along with friends strolled onto the Pasadena make-shift stage inside the back yard of Leonard and Cella Olive last weekend. Dale Fielder, cable TV's BET Jazz competition winner, and one of the most sought after groups on the west coast. performing at the 2nd annual Olive Yard Jazz Party, the veteran group wasted no time tearing into a bright-tempo blues number to kick off their first set. Fielder, now anchoring his group with the Baritone sax, paid his respect to "Hog-Leg" players like Pepper Adams or, Sahib Shihab , while being Dale Fielder at the same time. I first heard Dale some 17 years ago at the now defunct, Fifth Street Dick's, an L.A. Coffee House in Leimert Park Village. Dale would appear on the late jam sessions leading a bevy of raw talented or local professionals "getting in a little work" after their regular gigs. Fielder was mostly playing Alto, and Man! Was he searing off a plethora of ideas that made me put my tenor down and take notes. Now, some 12 CDs and counting(where did the time go!) I even moved away to Atlanta in the late 90's, I had to turn them on to the Dale Fielder Quartet. While the co-founder and president of The Atlanta International Jazz Society, We brought Dale into Atlanta several times to only have him make believers out of them also. While not just another saxophone or horn player with technical skills, Dale composes and arranges with "passion" dripping from the pages of his compositions. DFQ is 15 years old now. while still appearing in different instrumental formats, He maintains a core group of player personnel that just synchronizes and lifts, the band above the fray of sameness that permeates many bandstands in cities across the country.

On this occasion, the Dale Fielder Quartet, consist of long-time DFQ drummer, Thomas "Mr. Taste" White, the highly-touted pianist/composer, Jane Getz, and Bill "The Count" Markus,bass. Its this core of veterans that help Fielder present that unforgettable sound. A sound you associate with the many great groups of the Post-Bop era, many of which Dale listened and studied while growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While originally influenced heavily by his big brother, Guy, he later studied the likes of Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter and the great John Coltrane to name a few. Fielder's highly revered tribute to Wayne Shorter, Dear Sir was a great CD. Even "seconded" by Wayne Shorter himself, at a jazz gathering and debut of the CD that I attended back in 1996. I have my own favorites over the years, but, Romance Serenade and of course, The Hipster, penned after my jazz handle and former Web E-Zine in Atlanta. I feel his latest CD, in homage to Pepper Adams is some of the best playing I've heard on Baritone saxophone since the passing of Pepper.

The Friends ,consisted of the very sultry, cured in New Orleans Jazz and Blues, Ms. Sandra Booker. Booker has been on the Los Angeles jazz scene for over a decade. Sandra hailing from New Orleans has a very unique and versatile approach to her instrument(voice). when I listen to Sandra, I hear all the great Divas of the swing and Bop era, with some jambalaya on the side. Booker not only sings a song , but embraces the lyric in the jazz vocabulary that it was intentioned by the composer. Case in point ; Ask Me Now, by Thelonius Monk. her adaption of that number taken from her first CD , "Very Early." To understand Sandra, one would have to go hear her live. You would certainly be hooked, as I have been since the first CD. Sandra took a jazz standard like "It could Happen to You, on the spur of the moment, directing the DFQ as she poured through that song like I've never heard it before. That's probably why jazz icons the likes of Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell, Lalo Schifrin, Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, just to name a few have collaborated with Ms. Booker.

Jacques Lesure- guitarist, composer, arranger, educator. what's there not to like about Jacques Lesure, a passionate musician, who loves to play. I had the luxury of listening to Jacques for a solid five years in Atlanta, Georgia. Lesure was based out of Atlanta for many years while co- leading a band, The Swing Association. The TSA was a fitting moniker for Jacques and his peers. they produced some beautiful music and was in high demand by clubs and fans alike. TSA played many festivals, and out of town gigs. Jacques decided to move West! Southern California. Like one of his influences, Wes Montgomery. Jacques doesn't rest on his ability to play Wes style, he plays the whole guitar, double-stop chords, thumbing, and break neck arpeggios of a Charlie Christian, Grant Green or early, funky George Benson. Lesure is in for the long haul, and you will hear that name more often, if you support live music, because, that's where its at!!

Pasadena,California residents, Leonard and Cella Olive are doing their part to retain the legacy of Jazz. They hosted this, their 2nd annual "Olive Yard" party. This year was like the first one, bursting with pure jazz fans who come just to listen. It all takes place in the backyard of the Olives home with lighting,sound and you bring your favorite vintage wine or beverage of choice, along with food,light hearted chatting and fun,fun,fun!

Upon my arrival to cover this event, I was greeted by a smiling Leonard, who just happened to attend the same Compton high school I went to, Centennial High. His wife Cella was a joy to chat with during the band's break, and offered me some of the left-over food to take home. I just couldn't pass up on some of the hot wings!(Lol!!) I can't wait until next year's party!

---Robert Carmack
"Head Hipster"
The Hipster Sanctuary