by Kevin Goins – Music/Media Consultant/Contributor
RUDY VAN GELDER – IN MEMORIAM…..
Damn, Grim Reaper…bad enough we’ve seen many folks go to the Great Beyond before we hit mid-year, no thanks to you. And this week, you just had to go for the flippin’ trifecta. Toots, Steven Hill, and now this great master of recording engineering.
If you own any jazz albums released on labels such as Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Impulse, MGM, CTI or KUDU, the name of RUDY VAN GELDER would be found in the credits.
A New Jersey native of which optometry was his original profession, Van Gelder began recording jazz musicians within the living room of his parents’ home in Hackensack (they later built an extension to their house to serve as a full-functioning studio). Word spread quickly to jazz labels, which resulted in many great, classic recordings being made with Rudy overseeing the engineering, mixing and mastering.
In 1959, five years after he launched his career, Rudy Van Gelder opened the now famous recording studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. And the records kept on coming.
Okay, the short list….
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Blue Train
Miles Davis – The Musings of Miles, Blue Moods, Walkin’, Miles Davis/Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet
Charles Earland – Black Talk!
Jimmy Smith – The Cat, Bashin’, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Monster, The Sermon
Wes Montgomery – Tequila, Bumpin’, Goin’ Out Of My Head, A Day In The Life
Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder,
Thelonius Monk – Hackensack
Modern Jazz Quartet – Concorde, Django
Hank Mobley Sextet – Hank
Sonny Rollins – Moving Out, Saxophone Colossus
Quincy Jones – This Is How I Feel About Jazz, Gulu Matari, Walking In Space
Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage, Speak Like A Child
Ray Charles – Genius +Soul=Jazz
Stanley Turrentine – Sugar
Willie Bobo – Spanish Grease
Cal Tjader – Several Shades of Jade
George Benson – Good King Bad, Body Talk, The Shape of Things to Come, The Other Side of Abbey Road
Deodato – Prelude, Deodato 2
Grover Washington, Jr. – Mister Magic
Esther Phillips – From A Whisper To A Scream
Like I said, folks…the short list. The man engineered over 2000 albums Y’all can Google the rest.
What made Van Gelder’s work stand out above the rest of the engineers? It was the way he was able to capture a warm, full sound via his mixing and engineering. Yes, the man had a penchant for reverb (listen to the Verve and A&M/CTI recordings) but at the same time, it did help create a dynamic effect.
Fast forward to the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the millennium – Van Gelder was commissioned by EMI to remaster his prior Blue Note works under the RVG Remastered Series – which also included recordings released on Capitol Records (Cannonball Adderly’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool albums).
Sadly, Rudy Van Gelder passed away Thursday, August 25th, at the age of 91.
What else can be said? Coming from yours truly, my appreciation for not only jazz but the way music and artists were recorded came from listening to the albums Rudy Van Gelder engineered and mastered. As a college student earning my degree in audio production, studying the man’s works was an absolute must.
As far as the time spent as a radio DJ at Ithaca College, one of many who hosted WICB-FM’s Jazz Impressions (1985-1988), there wasn’t a record I spun that didn’t have Van Gelder’s touch
To Mr. Van Gelder, thank you for making music and records sound so damn good .
Hard to choose one recording, so here are a few links….
MILES DAVIS/THELONIOUS MONK – “BEMSHA SWING”
HERBIE HANCOCK – “CANTALOUPE ISLAND”
JIMMY SMITH – “THE CAT” – http://bit.ly/1S2vAux
ESTHER PHILLIPS – “HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS”
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy
Rudy Van Gelder, a renowned recording engineer who captured jazz greats Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and many others in his parents’ Hackensack living room and later in his Englewood Cliffs studio, died Thursday, August 25 at the age of 91. He is truly a Jazz master in the technological sense. Many of his recording sessions were great records because of the combined efforts of musicians and engineer, capturing the most-pure extract of Jazz at the highest level.
A LOVE SUPREME by John Coltrane
The Ultimate masterpiece in jazz recording. No one knew how to deliver the best of “Trane” better than Rudy Van Gelder. It will take decades to analyze all of his work to put him into the proper perspective regarding the Legacy.
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy
Los Angeles_ Dale Fielder, the LA based musician,composer,bandleader is just one of those rare entities that chooses to grow and get better with time. After more than 20 years as the leader of Dale Fielder Quartet, He keeps re-inventing himself with his great original compositions or performing on different instruments he has mastered,which now seems to be the Baritone Sax.
This writer and Dale Fielder connections goes all the way back to 1992 in the springtime, as Los Angeles was just trying to heal its wounds from a bitter uprising over the Rodney King /LAPD incident. One of the brightest vehicles to come out of that time was the emergence of Leimert Park Village , a quaint piece of L.A. dedicated to the African-American and World Cultural Arts community where it all came together as “One”. Another positive wave of transition came into play was the re-emergence of the “Coffee House”. the most popular of that period was Fifth Street Dick’s . Truly a magnet for good classic Jazz, spirited conversation,chess and later on “LIVE” Music performed 7 days a week. The Owner Richard Fulton began his business model of just having a safe, & sober place for recovering people to enjoy life without undue influences that contributed to their downfall in life.after his Coffee House’s popularity grew so quickly, Richard an avid jazz collector, moved to the next level and began presenting jazz in a Jam session format on Fridays and Saturday night. He hired Dale Fielder to “lead the charge and see what develops”, Inside of six months, Richard had the most talked about “Spot” in LA, Musicians were coming over after the Gigs and hitting with Dale and the fellas, along with The World Stage around the corner, There was nothing like this phenomena since the 1950s or 1940s on Central Ave. Dale Fielder was at the Eye of the Hurricane, as all of this Jazz Utopia was going Down.
Dale began to develop a reputation for having great musicians in his band and his playing was becoming legendary on saxophone especially on alto which he was playing a lot in those early years. Two of the young-lions of that era that were constantly among the personnel used by Dale Fielder were , Thomas “Mr. Taste” and Bill “The Count” Markus. They were among the best of the best that performed powerfully when called upon. Jane Getz who had already made her bones inside the New York Jazz scene with the likes of Charlie Mingus and other legendary fixtures on the scene, was now living in Los Angeles .She and Dale found each other through the music in LA , and fit in perfectly as the final piece of the Quartet, bringing experience, skill and panache to the group. 21 years later, here they are still glowing. still pumping out great original jazz compositions. They perform together today as a family unit, each knowing the other’s strengths and nuances, and how to make them even better.
There are many words to describe greatness and masterful, I choose “passionately sublime” to attach to this group. I can also say the same for their latest presentation on CD, RESILIENCE! a double CD by the Dale Fielder Quartet.
Passion is a word that most definitely sears all of Dale Fielder’s compositions and arrangements. This writer is always most struck by his choice of titles for his songs he writes. I also respect his courage for writing and producing his own music, compositions that rests on their own merits, while giving nods to the masters who came before. That’s saying a lot when many of today’s so-called jazz musicians are just faxing – in rehashed standards, Dale is smashing the molds ,even present beautiful, romantic music with the “Hog-legged Baritone Saxophone”.
He brings a new elegance to this instrument standing out from others who might have chosen the more”sexy soprano or tenor”.
“On Resilience, Fielder is still able to barrel through the changes of these quite poignant tunes and still make Humming-bird like sensitivity in his solos, that offers a balancing-act relegated mostly to Cirque Soliel.”
Dale wanted this CD to be special , its a double CD! a jewel of a caveat is unleashed in this session in the persona of Ms. Rita Edmond. another Los Angeles native that is kept almost on a “NEED to KNOW” basis, and You need to know Rita. If one wanted to prove why this genre has nothing but great days ahead,One need only listen to Rita Edmond and Dale Fielder play behind her charming and skillful vocals. Without drawing obvious comparisons, but certainly this duo harken the days of Dinah Washington and Gary Mulligan.
Ms. Edmond sings on two of Dale Fielder’s most romantic compositions, Days and Night with You and Romance Serenade. These songs are among my favorites of Fielder’s previously recorded in early 2001 off the Romance Serenade CD performed instrumentally on tenor and soprano respectfully.
This time Dale attacks these songs with his own lyrics added and Rita Edmond delivering the message. She is a great communicator of song, which becomes her very own once she touches the melody. Both of these tunes are light and breezy,yet so romantic and sexy. All of this happening with the sound of the baritone sax ,an almost Beauty and the Beast montage being summoned. This time the beast is the hero who gets the girl.
Edmond unapologetically embraces Fielder’s writing like she wrote the tune and comes across like another saxophone on the recording. I’m equally impressed with her ability to wrap her velvety voice around these lyrics, which sells the whole notion of why we even bother to listen to Jazz. I see Rita Edmond sky-rocketing to the top of the charts and the new jazz divas list very soon. ALL of this spells BUY NOW!! Get RESILIENCE!
The Dale Fielder Quartet Double CD on Clarion Jazz
A LOOK BACK at Last Year 20th Year Celebration of the Dale Fielder Quartet and his Robert J. Carmack Connection .. Resilience! new double CD review for DFQ coming August 25! http://www.hipstersanctuary.com
posted by #@blues2jazzguy hipstersanctuary.com staffwriter
JAZZ SPOKEN HERE is a combination of JAZZ and POETRY being performed by Jazz man Dale Fielder and his Quartet. also performing as special guest poet is longtime jazz promoter and journalist,Robert J. Carmack. DALE FIELDER QUARTET is celebrating its 20th year as a group playing together, and Carmack’s Jazz Blog/E-Zine, Hipster Sanctuary.Com is in its 17th year of promoting jazz, By Any Medium Necessary”.
All of the festivities get started at 7pm at the upscale Jamaican restaurant ,Kingston Cafe located at 333 Fair Oaks, Blvd. in Pasadena,California. $15 at door
The two guys met at an artists enclave in Los Angeles , called 5th Street Dick’s Coffee House in Leimert Park, literally weeks after the 1992 LA Riots. “Dale was running a Jam session that started at midnight every weekend, soon it became THE…
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posted by Robert J. Carmack
Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans, better known as Toots Thielemans,was a master jazz musician. He was well-known for his harmonica playing, but was a sublime guitarist and whistle soloist, often a first-call sessions player.
Many times over the decades of his career, he could be heard on Jazz/POP recordings, or in movie themes and scores. I first experienced Mr. Thielemans masterful skills on several Quincy Jones recordings starting in 1970, Gula Matari.
Born April 29, 1922, in Brussels, Belgium Died: August 22, 2016
posted by Robert J. Carmack -#blues2jazzguy In an era where the only thing that counts is Butts in the seat and the cling-clang of a CASH REGISTER while musicians struggle to play a solo over the YAMMERIN’ OF PSUEDO-HIPSTERS TALKING ABOUT ANY AND ALL THINGS EXCEPT THE MUSIC?? So what happens is, most musicians just “fax it in” and record mediocre at best dribble, then argue about what not to call it. Then, rarely there are Jazz musicians like Conrad Herwig whose respect for the music and, those that played it, never wavers in his quest to continue the legacy of greatness. One not only feels that in his recording sessions but, also on the bandstand whenever he appears around the world.
“CONRAD HERWIG SLICES THE GROOVE DOWN TO THE BONE” HiPSTER SANCTUARY
New York-based jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig is considered one of the world’s complete jazz…
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