We are currently living in an era of acquiescent mediocrity.  This is brought on by the allowance of businesses and corporations to run our society as well as our government.  Nothing is of value unless it has commercial value.  Put another way,  only those things that generate what is seen as adequate sums of money are considered valuable.  To most corporate types, the arts or even competent governance is of little value; only money, profit, and power are of value.  True mastery in our era is considered valueless unless it generates great sums of money.  This is much like how jazz is seen in our world.

On Saturday evening July 14, 2018, I recorded my 20th CD in front of a large and appreciative audience at the now legendary SoCal venue, Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA.  Even though I have some milestone gigs this year, such as completing a one year residency at Hotel Normandie, a LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) concert in the Fall that will be recorded and broadcasted by KKJZ 88.1 FM, as well as my first NYC performance in 35 years headlining a concert in October at Fordham University; this performance hands down is the highlight of my year for 2018.

It’s Blue Interlude time at the Hotel Normandie for the Dale Fielder Quartet with Rita Edmond as we are now on hiatus after our April 14th performance.  I have to admit; it’s a pretty gratifying feeling to see a project conceived and make it to fruition.   I remember how it all began back on Halloween of 2016 when I was driving Uber and got a call to go there to pick up co-owner Christian Page.  I liked him immediately and we clicked right away, especially when he mentioned looking to put live music in the hotel.  Driving Uber is great for networking and as my habit, I had a flyer for an upcoming gig and a few copies of our latest CD in the pockets behind my front seats.  Needless to say, he was impressed and just said, “Let’s do this!”  That’s ‘Chef’, as we call him!  He is a man of action whose word is his bond as I have since learned and he invited me back to see a solo piano performance for an event there the next day.

A pleasant surprise this year was our concert at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse as the finale in their Summer Jazz Series. Kudos to Anna Cross, Jonathan Salisbury, and staff for putting together an excellent production.  It was truly great to get world class treatment 23 miles from my house! Also thanks to the LA Arts Commission for funding the grant for the Mission Playhouse’s month long Summer Jazz Series. Unfortunately, this will probably my only featured ‘front line’ concert of the year. Opportunities to perform like this get less and less every year. We’ve watched it go from touring across the country and to Europe and Asia to just playing across the country, to just the west coast to finally just the local Southern California area. And we are a world class jazz band that has performed 3 encores in Sweden in front of an audience of 15,000 people!


Profane (definition): treating (something sacred) with irreverence or disrespect.  

Make no mistake.  Many times I feel as though I am being totally “profane” in regards to the music business and standard music practices.  This is not something I have recently come up with, but have been so throughout my so-called music career for many years. For me, there is no other way for me to move through the world of music I find myself in the midst of. In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of a band working consistently from a home base.  For me, I’d rather have that then some dream gig at some popular jazz festival making long dough. Because when the gig’s over, and when the money runs out, you are back to square one. That doesn’t happen when you have a home base.  You’re looking forward to writing and hearing the next new composition.  My focus is the development of my music rather than my “brand”.  In the music business, that is just . . . well profane!  This level of ‘Performance Consistency’ is more than just about developing one’s music; also equally important is the creation of a ‘scene’.  A place where folks can go to hear uncompromising, non-marketed/formated jazz.  Also important is creating a place for younger artists to experience and learn about the music in it’s most authentic way: live on the bandstand, not on the college campus.


It is a well-known fact amongst fans and followers of the DFQ that what modicum of success and notoriety we have is a result of our almost 10-year residency at the now legendary 5th Street Dick’s Coffee Company in the Leimert Park section of LA.  Having a steady gig for 2 nights every week from 1991 through 2000 is truly a musician’s dream. Most importantly, it is the single-most factor in my growth both as an instrumentalist and composer.  For almost 10 years non-stop, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of composing music and hearing it played within seven days: learning and analyzing what worked and what didn’t work.  I’ve often been asked why I never became a member of other bands, even great bands like Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Woody Herman and Lionel Hampton whom I have opportunities to work with and was even sought out as a member to join.




“Wow!!! A packed house an14725454_10209346524237456_1155238756668238001_nd great night of hard-hittin’ jazz at Vibrato Grill Jazz!!! Dream night!”

I’ve mentioned before that 2016 was a challenging year gig-wise.  But we also had some very memorable gigs: starting the year by recording “RESILIENCE!” live at Alvas Showroom, one of the last performances at the Beverly Hills supper club: H.O.M.E. [House of Music and Entertainment] and of course our CD release performance at Jazz @LACMA [Los Angeles County Museum of Art] in front of an audience of over 2,000 as well as being recorded for radio broadcast on KKJZ 88.1 FM the following Sunday.  However, I’d have to say our October 15th performance at Herb Alpert’s wonderfully ambient Vibrato Jazz Grill, for me personally was the most memorable gig of 2016.  By this point in the year, we had become familiar and confident with the originals and began expanding each of our own ideas and approaches to the music;   -owning each of our own interpretations of the tunes.  And to get to express this collectively with each other in front of a packed Saturday night house of some of LA’s most stellar, ‘beautiful people’ was a musician’s dream gig.  


Video #1: My personal/documentary video from my Zoom Q4 

Video #1 is from my personal/documentary video collection recorded on my trusty Zoom Q4 audio/video cam, which has the more superior audio and video quality of the two cameras in use filming the performance. Video #2 is from Bob Tucker’s Zoom Q3 Handy Recorder that he used to podcast the entire tune on Facebook-Live that night as we performed it!  (Gotta love those Zoom cameras and recorders!)  We are so appreciative of Bob coming out and doing this as well as sitting in and playing some boss guitar with us along with vocalist Rita Edmond. Bob is a Grammy Award-winning engineer who we had the fortune of having as our engineer on our new “RESILIENCE!” 2-disc CD.  This was our first ever live podcast and as of this date has 687 views. Not bad for the first time out.  Way to go Bob!  On my video, Video #1, you can see Bob actually filming the podcast on the left and can even see his camera screen as he is streaming it live!  I think that’s kinda cool and trippy!


I first heard the sound of Pepper Adams when I was six years old back in 1962.  My brother, who had just returned home from a 4 year stint in the U.S. Airforce, was a saxophonist and moved into my bedroom.  Seeing my interest in his Mark VI Selmer alto and his extensive jazz record collection, he allowed me access to his records, teaching me the correct way to hold the LPs and not scratch them and thus opened a whole new world to me.  He came back from the Airforce with a Voice Of Music stereo component system with separate speakers, -truly state of the art for 1962!  After exploring the wealth of Blue Notes, Prestige, Columbia etc., LPs I settled on 3 records as my first favorites because I was mesmerized by the sound of the saxophones I heard on them.  The very first was Sonny Rollins, “Newk’s Time” and I wore out the grooves of “Surrey With The Fringe On Top” much to my brother’s dismay.  The next 2 records featured trumpeter Donald Byrd and were: “Off To The Races” and “Byrd In Hand”, which of course featured Pepper Adams.

The Piano Magic of Jane Getz


I am honored to write this musical appreciation of Jane Getz whom I've had the privilege to share the bandstand with for over 20 years.  She is not only one of jazz's most accomplished pianists, but is my personal favorite as well as being one of my closest and dearest friends.  In the onward march and advancement of our human society, much complexity and new deterrent realities are created along with that advancement.  While on the one hand, this may be the best period in jazz history as more people are aware of it than at any other time, I can't help but bemoan the fact that it has also made us all unwillingly into base-competitors.  The deterrent force created out of all this, has made us so preoccupied with our own paths to the point that we can't find the space to enjoy each other as we used to in 'gentler' times.  In essence we miss so much that is absolutely wonderful and amazing that is going on right now in the world and the so-called jazz world in particular.  Jane Getz is a monolithic case in point.  Jane Getz is a bona-fide genius and has been one since childhood.

I am an idea man.  If nothing else, I can come up with great ideas, names and concepts.  I do this to remain creative, for nothing is worse than the boredom that comes from lack of creativity .  I think this is why I was attracted to jazz because of high level of creativity that comes from improvisation.  I love that you can never play the same solo twice.  It's supreme self-entertainment, which is why I'd be cool playing the sax even if no one else ever heard it!  I often say, it's great therapy.

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