Creating a Moment of Effulgence in 2023

Since we haven’t put out any new physical recordings that listeners can take home (is that a thing of the past?) since 2019, I have decided for the DFQ on what could be the only performance this year (I hope not!) to record live on May 20th at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA. Our next CD is to be entitled, “Saxophone Standards Vol. II”, as sort of a follow-up to “Saxophone Standards Vol. I”, which was recorded in 2013 and released in 2014. It will be the second entry in an ongoing life-long jazz standards project. But what I’m most excited about is in addition to releasing a CD, we will also release it as a long-promised vinyl LP as well. My very first recording “Scene From A Dream” in 1983 featuring Geri Allen was originally planned as an LP-only vinyl release. Running out of funds, it stayed on the shelf until its release in 2018 when by that time CDs were the standard way of releasing a physical recording. This will also be a 180-gram audiophile-quality ‘vinyl record’. I love saying, ‘record’! It means so many things to those of us who grew up when that was the main and only medium of listening to recorded music. I dunno, vinyl has an almost spiritual quality that CDs and digital media don’t have. When you hold a ‘record’ in your hands, it’s like you can almost feel the music from the grooves of the record laying in your hands. Not to mention it’s become widely known that analog sound quality is much better than digital. In addition, vinyl LP sales have outpaced CD sales since 2021. CDs sold over 31 million units compared to vinyl selling a whopping 41 million units in 2022!

So with all this, I am seeking to create an evening of what I call effulgence with this performance. Bringing new life to jazz standards is what the DFQ does best. The definition of effulgence is: a state of being bright and radiant, splendor, brilliance, or the ability to shine brightly; and brightness taken to the extreme. Because I have known such moments in music making (which the great Rahsaan Roland Kirk dubbed “Bright Moments”) like most recently during my December 2022 performance at the Jazz Club of Sarasota, FL; I am about creating radiant splendor on May 20th, because this time I’m with my peeps: Jane Getz, Bill Markus, and Thomas White, – members of the Dale Fielder Quartet, now in our 28th consecutive year. To commemorate the feeling of playing with these fine people, I even wrote a tune entitled . . . what else? “Effulgence!” which of course we will be recording also that evening! Gotta always throw in a couple of originals in these CD projects if you want your recording to bring in some residuals!

“Schlepping” the keyboard for Jane!

There is a saying that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. This year, I promised myself I will not do as I have done at the beginning of every year to acquire performance bookings for the quartet. I just cannot keep making 50 phone calls to get one $100/person gig that also requires us to schlepp a keyboard for Jane and for me to lug and set up/break down my PA system, and do the same thing over and over for each venue. After the pandemic, most of the venues in LA are new or have either changed owners or people who do the booking. You have to start a new relationship all over again because they don’t know you and prefer to book the artists they know and like. Really, at this stage in my life and after performing for over 30 years, to keep starting from scratch every year truly is the definition of insanity. Especially most of these venues that haven’t gone under due to the pandemic, we have played consistently over the last 20-30 years and pack them when we do. Also, Jane is such a marvelous one-of-a-kind pianist and she deserves to play on a decent grand piano. It’s like asking Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan to play on a digital piano, as well as it just isn’t our sound as we are an acoustic band.

So we find ourselves happily going back to Alvas Showroom, the only place it seems that is left for us in Los Angeles. It is where I know the sound and acoustics will be right for they give us a choice of either an American or German Steinway grand piano that is perfectly tuned before the gig along with a dedicated soundman. Known for its perfect acoustics, it truly is a great place for recording whether audio or video. It’s also a great place for listeners to have an up close and personal experience with artists. You can even chat with your favorite artist there! We’re only charging $20 at the door, you can bring your own food from your favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, alcohol is not allowed. As we enter April 2023, it’s looking like this may be your only opportunity to catch the Dale Fielder Quartet this year. We are focusing our attention on performing in Europe for the time being. We’ve even hired a public relations firm in Switzerland that is working on our behalf. And the word is that it’s looking really good for us to get over there in 2024. I’m so looking forward to creating and bringing effulgence over there! We know how to create a vibe! It’s what we do!

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