SCENE FROM A DREAM The Dale Fielder/Geri Allen Session NYC 1983


The Dale Fielder/Geri Allen Session NYC 1983

The Dale Fielder/Geri Allen Session NYC 1983

Dale Fielder – alto sax /  Geri Allen – piano & vocals* / Michael Logan – bass / Gregory Bufford – drums / Rob White – congas & percussion                 

Recorded February 23, 1983

A young man with a horn. Me at age 26 with the 1983 Manhattan skyline and World Trade Center in the background; a young saxophonist from Pittsburgh in NYC having the time of his life! This was the actual photo taken to be an LP cover for my very first recording: “Scene From A Dream” featuring at the time, the completely unknown and future jazz legend, Geri Allen. Big thanks to my friend vocalist Dee Watkins for recovering this long lost photo taken by Glenn Saffo for the LP release.  This session features the late, Geri Allen on piano (still can’t wrap my mind around the fact she is no longer among us), Michael Logan-bass, Gregory Bufford-drums and Rob White-percussion. The recent loss of my dear friend and former roommate back in the day, Ms. Geri Allen, has finally given me the impetus to get going on this project and get it done. It’s been delayed too long and of course, with Geri’s presence, it’s great stuff! Big thanks to engineer-extraordinaire, Bob Wayne of Sunburst Archiving and Restoration and Len Horowitz of HRS (Historical Recording Studios) who restored, remastered and transferred all the original analog audio to digital.

Hard to believe this was all 35 years ago . . . !  When I look at that photo, I vividly remember the heady emotions of the time.  We had already recorded the session and knew we had something very special.  Through Geri promoting and talking about it, it seemed like everybody in the NYC jazz community at that time knew about it.  Remember, Geri had yet to record her first recording which was not until the following year 1984 when she recorded “Printmakers”.  Also through both Geri and my efforts, selected cassette tapes of it were already circulating throughout the closely-knit jazz community in NYC.  Responses and feedback were exhilaratingly positive.  George Butler, vice-president of Columbia Records had recently signed young Wynton Marsalis, heard the tape and expressed his interest and asked where could he hear the band!  Everybody wanted to know who we were and especially who was that pianist!  I remember such a feeling that anything was possible and that the sky was truly the limit. I remember feeling so gratified because all this happened because I overcame my own self-doubts and found the courage to take the initiative, and made it possible.  This was a big deal to me at the time, because I, to borrow a phrase from Sonny Rollins, “was full of question marks” at age 26, as well as suffering from severe shyness and lack of confidence in my abilities as a jazz artist.  Also being in NYC in 1983 was challenging enough being around and hanging out with all the great musicians on my instrument.  At that time, few if any young black New York jazz artists were financing and producing their own recording session.  But with the encouragement of my sister and roommate, Geri Allen who pushed me as well as the rest of the members of the band who were my friends and family, we produced this amazing piece of work, that we all felt was a most profound statement of who we all were, as young artists at that point in time, and felt it would stand the test of time.  I’m sure we didn’t realize how prophetic we were as it took 35 years to finally be released and our music finally sees the light of day.

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