CDs & Downloads:

Please visit the Clarion Jazz website: www.clarionjazz.com

Dale Fielder on CLARION JAZZ www.clarionjazz.com

Consensus (2019)

Dale Fielder Quartet

Saxophonist Dale Fielder and his soon to be 25-year-old quartet releases his 20th CD, “Consensus”. The band affectionately known as the DFQ has long been recognized as among the most consistently exciting jazz groups on the Los Angeles jazz scene, and the international jazz market through their recordings on Clarion Jazz. Along with exciting vocalist Rita Edmond, “Consensus” combines tradition with the future of jazz. It is also organic, hard-hitting original jazz music that is a result of having the freedom to play without restriction! Atlanta Creative Loafer writer, James Rozzi wrote about Dale Fielder’s concept, “close listening prompts an understanding of just how complete a package this L.A. sax man tends to be. Whether exploring an oblique 5/4 original or a standard, Fielder plays with a high degree of emotional outpouring yet his lines always manage fruition. It’s impossible not to appreciate what he’s doing: shoot from the hip. Some of the finest saxophonists in jazz history ---namely Jackie McLean and Eric Dolphy have held this same command. The jazz world could use a few more free-blowing free agents like Fielder.”

With this new CD, Fielder and band seem well poised to take things to the next level. Writer Roman St. James writing in the Jazz Review, wrote about Fielder’s “Baritone Sunride,” “The benefit of their long time alliance is obvious. The telepathic-like interaction they maintain is one of the factors that allows this group to rise a notch above in a field that abounds in great jazz groups. If you are a fan of the baritone sax, you will absolutely love this album. Fielder’s chops are unequaled. I honestly don’t believe there’s a better proponent of the instrument alive and playing today. If you’ve never been a bari fan, the explosive creativity and enormous passion displayed on this recording may very well change your mind.”

The group features 2 main soloists in baritone saxophonist and leader Dale Fielder and pianist Jane Getz. Getz is regarded as one of jazz’s living legends. She left a dream career in NYC working with all of the most prominent jazz artists of her time: Charles Mingus, Stan Getz, Grant Green, Charles Lloyd, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Elvin Jones, Herbie Mann, and even turned the head and piqued the interest of the legendary Miles Davis;; She left New York to move to Los Angeles as a top producer producing sessions with Ringo Starr, John Lemmon, The Bee Gees among many others. She continues as a producer and owns one of Hollywood’s busiest recording studios. Dale Fielder is one of the anomalies in jazz. Inspired by Thelonious Monk, Fielder has always maintained his preference for leading his own bands and playing his own music. As a result, he has become acknowledged as both an important baritone saxophonist and composer. Known earlier in his career as an alto and tenor saxophonist, in 2003 Fielder changed up and began playing baritone sax exclusively with the DFQ. Fielder feels his most natural voice and individuality comes through on the baritone sax than the other saxes which he still plays when called as a sideman.

The DFQ is rounded out by bassist Bill Markus and drummer Thomas White. Markus and White have quickly become LA jazz legends in their own right as first-call musicians working with a whos-who of major jazz talent in LA. As an added bonus performing with the DFQ since 2014 is vocalist Rita Edmond, a leader and top artist as well. Writer Christopher Loudon in JazzTimes Magazine commented about an Edmond CD, “It’s not often that a vocal album suggests the near-certitude of future greatness, but Rita Edmond is of that rare ilk. Backed by a four-octave range, Rita recalls two of the all-time greats: reflecting the vocal power and majesty of Sarah Vaughan, the impeccable timing and phrasing of Carmen McRae, and the intense, natural musicality of both.”

Official CD Website: www.dfqconsensus.com


Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/5:46
  2. 2
    0:00/8:08
  3. 3
    0:00/9:20
  4. 4
    0:00/7:36
  5. 5
    0:00/10:39
  6. 6
    0:00/5:01
  7. 7
    0:00/8:04
  8. 8
    0:00/9:15
  9. 9
    0:00/11:04

Entropy (2019)

Dale Fielder Quartet

Dale Fielder Quartet performance for Just Jazz Live Concert Series at Mr. Musichead Gallery in Hollywood, CA August 28, 2019. Dale Fielder-baritone, soprano, alto & tenor sax / Jane Getz-piano / Bill Markus-acoustic & electric bass / Thomas White-drums and Rita Edmond-vocals on "Intrigue".
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    Entropy 10:08
    0:00/10:08
  2. 2
    0:00/5:38
  3. 3
    0:00/13:25
  4. 4
    0:00/11:17
  5. 5
    0:00/11:11
  6. 6
    0:00/8:24

Resilience! (2016)

Dale Fielder Quartet

“RESILIENCE!” is the DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet’s 20th Anniversary recording. Night after night for over twenty years, the DFQ have gone quietly about their business; almost workman-like, -just making the gig, yet as serious as your life in focusing only on the music. Seeing this focus and reverence for the music, while having a great time doing it is what their audiences like most about the band. Looking back on the tenth anniversary for the DFQ in 2005, Fielder in an interview for his "Baritone Sunride" CD commented on the band's bond: "The passion and dedication each member of this band has is beyond any words I can say except the word “love”. We really love what we are doing together. It doesn’t happen quite in the same way when we play with anyone else. We naturally create a very ego-less and supportive musical environment for each other every time we play. And because of this, there is a tremendous amount of love, respect, and esteem we hold for each other that has been enjoyed for ten years and hopefully, many more to come". Ten years later on their twentieth anniversary, the band continues to not merely survive, but actually thrive. It is certainly remarkable in how the band continues to grow, evolve their singular way and have created a body of distinctive jazz music. This current offering testifies to the abilities of Fielder's leadership, his courage as a bandleader as well as his commitment and determination in his continued pursuit of the baritone sax as a front-line solo instrument; -not a usual role for the deep-toned horn, usually seen anchoring the sax section in a big band. Also, the CD continues to exhibit Fielder's evolution as a composer. The beauty and strength of the band can be seen in how they play and interpret Fielder's compositions. As a result, the band has their own sound and can immediately set a mood and create a vibe. Also, each individual member is showcased; everyone gets to shine! This is a band in the fullest sense of the word and not a collection of dis-interested individuals just phoning it in. This very special 20th Anniversary CD is aptly entitled RESILIENCE! A testament to the DFQ continuing their course for over twenty years and marking their anniversary with a great recording in the way they do best; -playing live; no tricks, no gimmicks nor a safety net! Music created on the spot, in the moment; -what the art of creating the genuine jazz experience should be all about. Here, we are treated to two CDs chocked-full of consistently urgent, earnest, and honest music.

The band boasts two major soloists in Dale Fielder and pianist Jane Getz. Getz possessing one of the most unique stories in jazz as recorded in her autobiography "Runnin' With The Big Dogs" of leaving high school and traveling to NYC to work and record with jazz immortal, Charles Mingus. Hand-picked by Chick Corea as his 'first call' sub, Getz was one of the most sought-after pianists on the NYC scene during the late 1960s and early 1970s, working on Pharaoh Sanders first recording and performing with Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, Charles Lloyd, Elvin Jones and countless others. Eventually, Getz secured a deal with RCA as a producer and left NYC for Hollywood, bought a house in the Hollywood hills and produced sessions for artists such as Ringo Star, John Lennon, and the Bee Gees as the legendary pop producer "Mother Hen". She continues to work to this day as a sought-after music producer and owns and operates one of Hollywood's most successful mixing studios, Crescent Heights Digital. Finally by the early 90s, Getz had the urge to 'play some real music again", and began going out to play on the LA scene where she crossed paths with Fielder.

Dale Fielder came out of Pittsburgh by way of NYC and became known to the jazz public in the 1990s largely through his own recordings. His 1996 CD, “Dear Sir: Tribute To Wayne Shorter” was a top-ten CD for over three months and was instrumental in bringing him to the attention of the national jazz public. The CD enjoyed the approval and support of Mr. Shorter and was also Jane Getz’s first recording with the band. Known earlier in his career as an alto and tenor saxophonist, Fielder began performing on the baritone sax in 2003. As a devotee of the baritone sax style of the great Pepper Adams, Fielder began performing exclusively on the baritone sax on his own gigs since 2014. He has said that the baritone is a “natural fit for my style of play". When asked to describe his style on the sax, Fielder says, "The basis of my saxophone style is out of "Bird", Charlie Parker. That's the foundation of my style. I came to "Bird" through Jackie McLean, who was my first major influence on alto. I began on alto and primarily played that until the 90's when I added tenor. When you think about it, Jackie McLean's style, especially his sound is a perfect style for the baritone sax. I found that where I had to play a lot of notes to be effective on the other horns, I could be equally as effective with less notes on the baritone. On baritone each note has more "weight" if you will, caused by the lower register of the horn, more metal etc. Imagine that tart-sweet tone of McLean that was kind of a tenor sound on alto; imagine THAT on baritone! I see myself as a more emotional player than an intellectual one. I rely more on intuition and instinct than technique. Going for the emotional essence of the music makes me more into sound and tonal centers; more primal and primitive levels I think. My first major influences on the sax were three: Jackie McLean as mentioned, then Sonny Rollins and then Pepper Adams. I was into these guys early before I got into Trane and of course, lost my mind! (laughs) As my records show, when I picked back up with the baritone in 2003, the Pepper influence was pervasive. Up until about 2011, I loved his playing so much I finally began to worry about becoming a clone. Luckily, I pulled a tendon in my arm and was physically unable to play baritone for over a year from 2013 through 2014 and went back to the other saxes. So when I went back to the baritone in 2014, I’ve since been working to expand beyond the Pepper Adams influence, incorporating others like Trane, Dexter, Wayne, and Joe Henderson. I feel that with RESILIENCE!, I have finally pushed past the Pepper influence on baritone and starting to become my own man on the horn.” What’s really unique is that Fielder has also brought the baritone sax front line in a contemporary setting that is unusual these days. Here Fielder places the baritone in settings that are not normal. Right out of the box with the tune “Days and Nights With You", is a baritone sax/vocal duet! Who else does that?

The other members of the DFQ are equally unique players in their own right. Bill Markus, one of the busiest bassists in Los Angeles “possesses two unique solo styles”, says Fielder. “A unique double-stop pizzicato style and a jazz arco style unlike any other bassist in jazz. Plus he is unbeatable on fast tempos. As the night gets longer, Bill gets stronger!” Percussionist Thomas White is a product of the New England Conservatory where he studied under the legendary George Russell. His unique style of combining power and intensity without a lot of volume makes him a favorite for piano trios. Fielder likes “that he is a drummer who plays and extemporizes instead of merely keeping time. Yet his sense of time is impeccable. This is why we call him ‘Mr. Taste’!”

The music on this CD was recorded in front of a live audience at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA by Grammy award-winning engineer Bob Tucker. Tucker is also the head engineer and partner with Jane Getz at Crescent Heights Digital. His work here speaks for itself, captured and recorded so well that you are only aware it is a live recording at each tune's end when you hear the audience applaud! Fielder says that Alvas is “one of the most acoustically perfect rooms in the country today!” He recorded his 2007 CD "Plays the Music of Pepper Adams" there at Alvas. For the exception of George Cables’ “Think On Me”, all the music recorded that night are Dale Fielder originals. Fielder says, “These are the tunes we’ve been playing on gigs through-out 2014-2015” except for “Days and Nights With You” and “Aquarian Aspirations”, which are the newest and were written just before the session. “Days and Nights With You” features the exceptionally talented vocalist Rita Edmond, who has been performing with the band since 2014 whenever a vocalist is required. The tune definitely illustrates her simpatico with the band. We are treated to two completely different versions of the tune, Take-1 opening the CD and Take-2 closing it. A truly exotic tune with lush chord changes, written as a tone poem for Fielder's wife, it demonstrates his ideas about composition. “I’m of the Lester Young school of thought in jazz; the attraction to beauty in music. There’s the desire to convey the sense of the exotic or ecstatic and trance states in music. It’s a direct path to the soul and the eternity of life itself.” He spoke on this early in his career in 1995 for Musician magazine where he said back then, “It is a mistaken assumption that musicians merely reflect the times they live in. We have the responsibility to assist in molding the characteristics of the future. So my music cannot help but to align with the positive qualities of our world. It addresses the magnificence of the human experience. I am learning how to adjust the composition of melody, rhythm, harmony, and lyrics to affect people’s consciousness in a positive and beneficial way, whether they are aware of it or not. It's about really learning how to be a healer." Isn't that what jazz is all about? Using the music to feel good about life in spite of its challenges.

“Aquarian Aspirations”, an intriguing composition that is primarily in 3/4 time with 1 bar of 5/4, was written for his elder brother and mentor, the late tenor saxophonist Guy Fielder, who transitioned in November of 2015. “He is the reason why I’m playing this music" says Fielder. "Every note I play from now on is for him, for I am his legacy.” This is Fielder's most engaging solo on the CD and is at the heart of what Fielder is accomplishing with the baritone sax. This solo yields dividends upon repeated listening. Next, we are treated to an extended 11 plus minute version of “The Quickening” [A Divine Moment]” which first appeared on Fielder’s “Stellar Moments” CD back in 2009 where Fielder played it on alto sax. This is much how the band stretches out and sounds when performing live. In turn, “Romance Serenade” first appeared on Fielder’s CD of the same name back in 2000, another top-ten CD at the time. That version was an instrumental version where Fielder played it on soprano sax. However lyrics were written for it and here, we get to hear it for the first time in a fine vocal outing by Rita Edmond. The title tune “Resilience!” features Jane Getz and the cross-stick quarter note rhythm that is prominent in Fielder’s writing these days. He says, “I like it because while making the music sound more contemporary to today’s audience, it also establishes a timekeeping dynamic that one can solo over in a traditional way like Bird very easily”. “Easy Does It” and “Patience’s Patience” displays the more straight-ahead post-bop style the band is known for. Of particular note is Thomas White’s brushwork throughout on “Patience’s Patience", as well as solos on "Think Of Me" and "The Quickening" with full band accompaniment.

Disc II starts out with Fielder’s ‘mini-suite’ “Perceptions”. Fielder has written and performed several extended works over the years. Many were commissioned. Two have been recorded on CD: “Ocean of Love and Mercy” (1997) and “Suite: Clarity” (2004). His last, "Light And Shadow" (2007) was a commission from Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina. "When I was about 9 years old, I fell in love with the music of Duke Ellington, mesmerized by his "Reminiscing In Tempo", says Fielder. "It made a profound impression on me as well as inspiring the desire to compose longer forms. “Perceptions” has turned out to be a work in progress; there's already a part four written for it. I'm really happy for the opportunity to get it in".

“Perceptions I: [Shifting Focus] is an up-tempo straight-ahead swinger with solos by all four members. Fielder and Getz's authoritative bebop roots, as well as a strong-point of the entire band; are in full display here. Immediately beginning afterward is "Bass Prelude I" by Bill Markus, who is featured in the first of two bass preludes. “Bass Prelude I” is performed acro (with the bow) in an almost classical style. The bass-line leads of “Perceptions II: [Elation]” starts the second movement. [Elation] is a case in point of Fielder’s intent to convey the sense of the exotic and trance states in music. Also of note is how both Fielder and Getz are so un-hurried during their solos, taking their time to caress each note. Next up is “Bass Prelude II” and this time is performed pizzicato (plucked) by Markus and makes the transition into “Perceptions III: [Radiance]”. [Radiance] is a wonderful Latin Hybrid composition; first Getz and then Fielder lay down expressive solos. After listening, Fielder comment on seeing the Wayne Shorter influence in his writing. And indeed the tune seems like something Wayne Shorter would have written back in an earlier period. At the end of the night, the band decided to have another go at "Days and Nights With You" and we are treated to an alternate take of the tune, as indeed, there were no thow-aways that evening.

“RESILIENCE!” is a splendid 20th Anniversary recording that stands up well to repeated listening. One can only hope this recording will go a long way in helping the band be heard more broadly. Congratulations to DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet for staying the course for over 20 years; and in that one fact, they have accomplished what few jazz bands in the new millennium have been able to enjoy. They truly do possess, - RESILIENCE!

-Reid Schultz
Read more… close

Dream Dancing (2014)

Dale Fielder

Saxophonist Dale Fielder returns to his hometown near Pittsburgh, PA to perform in the state of the art performing arts center, Lincoln Park. With him are top Pittsburgh jazz artists, guitarist Eric Johnson, pianist Tim Jenkins, bassist Paul Thompson, and drummer Thomas Wendt playing a mixture of classic jazz standards and Fielder originals. So well conceive this project is in recording and sound quality that you will feel you are right there. Dream Dancing is in keeping with the Clarion Jazz ethos for releasing music, not for commercial purposes and radio and marketing restraints with every track well over 10 minutes.
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/11:27
  2. 2
    0:00/10:26
  3. 3
    0:00/11:53
  4. 4
    0:00/13:46
  5. 5
    0:00/13:00

Each Time I Think Of You (2012)

Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet

It is not surprising that saxophonist Dale Fielder would choose the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet of 1958-1961 as his new recording project. No serious baritone saxophonist would want to leave that box unchecked. The Byrd/Adams Quintet was one of the great unsung groups in jazz history. Overshadowed by a golden age of great jazz groups, they were a favorite of musicians and fans alike during their tenure. What made the band so unique was the perfect blend of Byrd and Adams’ trumpet and baritone sax and the fact that they were first-class soloists. Also, a factor in the band’s success was the magnificent compositions and arrangements of one of jazz’s most gifted writers, Duke Pearson. During the band’s last year together, they introduced to the world an equally strong third soloist who also composed for the band, one Herbie Hancock, whom Byrd and Adams discovered in Chicago and brought back to New York.

Each Time I Think of You is Fielder’s 14th recording and is sort of a follow-up to his 2007 release, Plays the Music of Pepper Adams. Here, Fielder introduces his Tribute Quintet, formed for an on-going project to perform and record the music of some of jazz’s greatest but under-appreciated artists. Back with Fielder is his long-time associate, pianist Jane Getz whose very presence personifies being one of jazz’s great yet under-appreciated artists. Getz began her career playing and recording with Charlie Mingus and went on to work with a who’s who list of jazz greats that include Stan Getz, Elvin Jones, Joe Henderson, Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Herbie Mann, Charles Lloyd and Pharoah Sanders with whom she recorded on his very first LP. After returning to LA, she became one of Hollywood’s top producers working with Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, and the Bee Gees among others. Since 1995, she keeps her jazz chops sharp by joining forces with Fielder with whom she has performed and recorded continually. Also back is bassist Trevor Ware, who started his career with Horace Tapscott and Sonny Fortune and is currently, besides playing with every important jazz artist that comes through Los Angeles, is the bassist for the Count Basie Orchestra. New onboard is percussionist Don Littleton, who started his career with Cannonball Adderley, Freddie Hubbard, and Roberta Flack. Besides being an excellent drummer he is perhaps more well known as a first call, master conguero. Also newly on board is trumpeter Nolan Shaheed, who started his career with Marvin Gaye and Natalie Cole and has continued on to become one of LA’s first call trumpeters, playing and recording with Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, Teddy Edwards, and Eddie Harris.

The music included in this fine recording consists of the very best that the Byrd/Adams Quintet recorded. The DFTQ breathes fresh air into these timeless classics. They play with a lot of passion and swing like crazy. In fact, their versions might actually rival the original ones; certainly the opener, “Out Of This World” seems much more assessable than the original. Other standouts are “Jeannine” and the title cuts, both the master and alternate take. This is a band that blends well and always sounds exciting and fresh. It gives testimony to the fact that good music is timeless and always relevant.
--Reid Schultz for Clarion Jazz
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/9:31
  2. 2
    0:00/9:30
  3. 3
    Jorgies 10:37
    0:00/10:37
  4. 4
    0:00/8:07
  5. 5
    0:00/9:25
  6. 6
    0:00/9:48
  7. 7
    0:00/10:52
  8. 8
    0:00/6:35

DFQ~Plays The Music of Pepper Adams (2007)

Dale Fielder Quartet

For his new CD project, Dale Fielder chose to explore the music of the man who inspired him to play the baritone sax, one Park “Pepper” Adams III. DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet plays The Music Of Pepper Adams is 12th in a series of recordings that began in 1993 for saxophonist/composer Dale Fielder. It is his first recording since his 2005 top-twenty CD, Baritone Sunride.

In a 10 tune set that lasts for a generous hour and eleven plus minutes, Fielder has chosen seven Pepper Adams compositions that were personal favorites of Pepper Adams. They were among Adams’ last and were what he considered as his best work, just before his death in 1986 at the age of 55. The seven compositions were culled from Adams’ Reflectory, The Master, and Adams’ Effect sessions. Fielder included the standard, “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads” because they are also associated with Adams and recorded on his very first album in 1957. However the sleepers of the entire CD may very well be Fielder’s 2 originals, “Frugal Apathy” a very interesting 6/8 Afro-Cuban composition that certainly sets the baritone sax in new territory; and the complex closer “Dimensions” whereupon listening to how hard Fielder and Getz can swing, one realizes the power of the element of swing in jazz. Combined with a touch of innovation, it can be a really beautiful thing. Here Fielder swings mightily and creatively in the lower register of the baritone. This solo alone certainly makes the case for Fielder being among jazz’s current top baritone saxophonists.
In his jazz review of Fielder’s live recorded performance that yielded this new CD, jazz writer and baritone sax aficionado Skoot Larson, (www.skootsjazz.com/jazz_reviews), commented on the parallels between Adams and Fielder: “While Dale Fielder is passionate about the legacy of Pepper Adams, he could never be accused of being an imitator. Pepper Adams played with a hard, brittle edge to his tone as he roared through the changes. Dale displays a similar facility as he moves across the horn’s spectrum top-to-bottom, but Fielder has a less harsh sound, all his own, that polishes the edges and brings new beauty to Pepper’s works. Fielder also adds more depth to Adams by performing on the other saxophones in his arsenal.”

All the usual suspects are here with Fielder as they have for the last 12 years. The legendary ex-Mingus Workshop pianist, Jane Getz‘s playing here confirms why she too is consistently considered an important pianist in jazz. She is the real deal. What she has accomplished in her piano style is to make all her own another unheard side of the Bud Powell influence, the only influence she lists when asked. Getz touches the piano in a way similar to jazz greats Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan, two other pianists directly influenced by Bud Powell and are personal favorites of Ms. Getz. The ubiquitous and always tasteful percussionist Thomas White locks down the rhythms on the drums in a multi-directional manner with his usual aplomb. A new face is on bass, Edwin Livingston who has been with the quartet for just over a year now. His playing and soloing skills performed here are sure to impress.

When asked to describe the CD, Fielder laughingly called it “The New West Coast Cool”. It is certainly one of the most listenable records this writer has heard recently. All and all this is a CD that combines depth and passionate playing along with surprising accessibility. Highly Recommended.
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/7:48
  2. 2
    0:00/6:44
  3. 3
    0:00/8:12
  4. 4
    0:00/7:04
  5. 5
    0:00/7:21
  6. 6
    0:00/6:28
  7. 7
    0:00/5:21
  8. 8
    0:00/9:09
  9. 9
    0:00/5:15
  10. 10
    0:00/7:42

Stellar Moments (2009)

Dale Fielder Angel City Quartet

In a recent conversation, Dale Fielder mentioned that he was a musician. When asked what instrument he played, he answered without hesitation, “I play all four saxophones.” Over his recorded career, it is hard to pin down which saxophone is Fielder’s primary instrument or which one he sounds best on. He plays them all equally well. He has displayed them all throughout thirteen recordings starting in 1993. Most recently, he has concentrated on the baritone sax through his last three recordings: Howling Monk (2003), Baritone Sunride (2005), and Plays The Music of Pepper Adams (2007). On this new recording, Stellar Moments, Fielder plays no baritone and concentrates the bulk of the material on the tenor sax, also performing two compositions on soprano and one on alto.

Fielder also has a penchant for finding new or unheard jazz talent. He brought back the legendary ex-Mingus pianist Jane Getz from obscurity and introduced pianist Danny Grissett who is now with Tom Harrell and taking NYC by storm. Here is his new group, Angel City Quartet, he introduces another considerable jazz talent in pianist Greg Gordon Smith. And along with bassist Bill Markus (who looks and sounds like the late Albert Stinson) and the ubiquitous Thomas White on drums, Angel City Quartet sounds like a tight, cohesive ensemble that belies the fact that they have only been together just over a year. They play like a band, not like a collection of separate individuals just getting through the session like a day at the office. There’s a lot of passion here.

The music contained in Stellar Moments flows like a movie soundtrack as it is sequenced much like a suite. The first three compositions are from Fielder’s own pen. From the opening bars of the title cut, you can tell that this is not your father’s jazz! The shifting 7/4-4/4 composition is the most exciting 4:30 minutes of jazz! It flows into the trance-like The Quickening where Fielder makes his only appearance on alto conjuring up Bird meeting Trane in an impassioned solo. The loose interplay of the rhythm section during Smith’s solo is sublime. Next is the elegant Patricia’s Flow, a 7/4 ballad where Fielder introduces his tenor. Next up is an intelligent and swinging rendition of the Joe Henderson classic, Punjab followed by the sprightly, danceable Fielder bossa original, Escapade With Ese, which incidentally has an infectious melody. Wayne Shorter’s Yes And No is certainly a standout composition that should see quite a bit of airplay. Fielder’s re-arrangement gives it a ‘Maiden Voyage’ rhythm which gives this tune a definite contemporary flavor. The standard The Night Has A Thousand Eyes is given a straight down the middle straight-ahead jazz treatment with White displaying some deft brushwork. Fielder’s sensuous writing is displayed on Mulu, a 6/8 Latin tune that again features White. The closer is Thelonius Monk’s I Mean You, where Markus opens the soloing with an incredible arco solo.

Dale Fielder is an anachronism. Yet he sounds thoroughly modern and up to date. One can imagine Fielder on the bandstand comfortably sidling up next to a Kenny Dorham or Art Farmer as his sound is classic. Fielder himself has said that of all the saxophonists currently playing, he feels more in common with saxophonist Scott Hamilton. Perhaps this is because Fielder is also a product of the 1970s, the so-called lost generation that spawned such other underrated sax greats such as Billy Harper, Bobby Watson, and Bennie Maupin. In any event, Stellar Moments should go a long way to bringing Fielder closer to the recognition he so rightly deserves. This for the simple fact that so few are unabashedly and unapologetically pursuing this type of modern, updated, straight-ahead jazz today. Most of today’s current artists attempt to distance themselves from traditional jazz and seek fusion with other world music influences. They do so in an attempt to be considered ‘contemporary’ because traditional or straight-ahead jazz has been judged old fashioned. Yet here in Stellar Moments, while embracing the tradition, Fielder sounds completely contemporary. Fielder has been quoted as saying that he is not ashamed of the word jazz. Thank God for that!

---Reid Schultz for Clarion Jazz
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:30
  2. 2
    0:00/6:33
  3. 3
    0:00/7:20
  4. 4
    0:00/6:23
  5. 5
    0:00/6:16
  6. 6
    0:00/8:31
  7. 7
    0:00/8:54
  8. 8
    Mulu 7:28
    0:00/7:28
  9. 9
    0:00/6:27

Saxophone Standards Vol. I (2013)

Dale Fielder Quartet

Volume I of Dale Fielder's 2014 "Saxophone Standards" project by DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet. Fielder explores jazz standards and obscure jazz classics on soprano, alto, and tenor sax with Jane Getz-piano, Bill Markus-bass & Thomas White-drums.
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/9:36
  2. 2
    0:00/9:09
  3. 3
    Bebel 8:01
    0:00/8:01
  4. 4
    0:00/10:30
  5. 5
    0:00/5:55
  6. 6
    0:00/11:42
  7. 7
    0:00/8:26
  8. 8
    0:00/6:57
  9. 9
    0:00/6:48

Baritone Sunride (2004)

Dale Fielder Quartet

There are few too recordings issued these days centered around the robust and sometimes surprisingly sensitive-sounding baritone saxophone. The potentially awkward horn, largest of the commonly-played saxophones, was really never considered a ‘soloing’ instrument until Duke Ellington started featuring the great baritone player Harry Carney in his orchestras in the late 1920s. But it was the emergence of Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams, and Serge Chaloff in the 1950s, the heyday of the bebop era, that really gave the instrument widespread public notice and showed that, in the right hands, the lumbering instrument could be played just as nimbly as any alto. Still, when one thinks of the great baritone players that have made a name for themselves since the 1950s, the list is short: Nick Brignola (who passed in 2002), Cecil Payne, Ronnie Cuber and Hamiet Bluiett are the only ones that immediately come to mind. Flash forward to the year 2004 and enter Dale Fielder.

Fielder grew up in Pittsburgh PA, where he began studying music as a child and learned to play a variety of horns, including oboe, bassoon, and tuba, in addition to clarinet and saxophone. He later attended the University of Pittsburgh’s Jazz Studies Program and played locally for a couple of years before eventually moving to New York City in 1980 to spread his wings. He began playing with some of the best musicians the city had to offer and his skill and experience continued to develop. In 1983, he founded his own jazz label, Clarion Jazz (the same label this album is released under), and recorded his first date as a leader, entitled Scene From A Dream. His hard work paid off as he started to gain widespread recognition for his original and daring style. In 1984, he was awarded a National Endowment For The Arts grant, which allowed him to complete his first large ensemble piece, The Aquarian, for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra.

In 1988, Fielder relocated to Los Angeles and became a fixture in the city’s local jazz scene, where he was primarily known as an alto and tenor player, even though he also played soprano and baritone. But it was in mid-2004 that he made the decision to play baritone exclusively, and this album, Baritone Sunride, is the fruit of that decision and his first all-baritone recording. A hard-bop outing through and through, listening to Baritone Sunride gives you a rare glimpse of the power and beauty of this large horn when played by a master of Fielder’s talent.

This collection of ten tunes (four standards and the remainder Fielder originals), also shows what a great composer he is. No matter how complex the chord changes, how odd the time signatures or how fast the tempos, the melodies are imminently hummable and stay with you long after the last note has faded. He also gives a nod to the influence of the great baritone players that have preceded him by including some of the standards that they often played. “Muezzin’” is a Pepper Adams original and the arrangement of Rogers and Hart’s “Lover” is in line with Pepper’s style of playing up-tempo tunes – with a variety of meter changes and long trades with the drums. “A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody,” written by Irving Berlin, was a favorite of Nick Brignola, and “End Of A Love Affair” was often played by another master of the big horn, Charles Davis. While the influence of these legends is apparent in Fielder’s sound, he has created an approach to the instrument that is entirely his own. His tone is rich and vibrant, his phrasing is sharp and fluid and his solos are well-constructed yet endlessly inventive.

His rhythm section, the other three pieces of the Dale Fielder Quartet, are no less talented and are all masters in their own right. Pianist Jane Getz (by the way, no relation to sax legend Stan Getz) and drummer Thomas White are members of the original Dale Fielder Quartet, which played its first gig on New Year’s Day, 1995. Bassist Trevor Ware joined the group in 1999. The benefit of their longtime alliance is obvious. The telepathic-like interaction they maintain is one of the factors that allows this group to rise a notch above in a field that abounds in great groups.
If you are a fan of the baritone saxophone, you will absolutely love this album. Fielder’s chops are unequaled. I honestly don’t believe that there is a better proponent of the instrument alive and playing today. If you’ve never been a bari fan, the explosive creativity and enormous passion displayed on this recording may very well change your mind.

Reviewed by: Roman St. James
For: Jazz Review.com
Year: 2005
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:56
  2. 2
    0:00/5:25
  3. 3
    0:00/7:48
  4. 4
    0:00/7:31
  5. 5
    Lover 7:53
    0:00/7:53
  6. 6
    0:00/9:01
  7. 7
    0:00/6:55
  8. 8
    0:00/6:44
  9. 9
    0:00/8:40
  10. 10
    0:00/4:23

Sensuous Universe (2006)

Dale Fielder

The audio from Dale Fielder's 2006 video project: "Sensuous Universe". Fielder performs his new "pulse-rhythm" originals along with obscure jazz classics on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax with Jane Getz-piano, Edwin Livingston, Trevor Ware and Bill Markus-bass & Thomas White-drums.
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:45
  2. 2
    0:00/5:11
  3. 3
    0:00/5:25
  4. 4
    0:00/5:18
  5. 5
    0:00/9:20
  6. 6
    0:00/8:09
  7. 7
    0:00/10:17
  8. 8
    Mulu 7:01
    0:00/7:01
  9. 9
    0:00/5:11