Live Jazz: Dale Fielder at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.

By Tony Gieske

Every once in a while you get to hear some straight no rocks saxophone playing, and such was on tap, or perhaps uncorked would be a better term, when Dale Fielder played Vibrato on Friday.

Dale Fielder and Pat Senatore

He did the whole set on baritone saxophone. So it was fresh sound all the way, not quite velvety, that would be too thick.  Or silken, which would be too thin. Tweedy makes it too hairy.

Ramon Banda

Song-like,it was. Down around Al Hibbler territory, without the boom. Agility-wise, it reminded you of Harry Carney rather than Gerry Mulligan.

The repertoire was almost all nicely proportioned originals, fast moving without being tiresome or hard to follow.

A stalwart of the L.A. jazz world, Fielder took you affectionately through the changes, filling them all out with pretty much stone bebop. But never over your head.You got a beginning, a middle and an end.

Theo Saunders

With Pat Senatore on bass and Ramon Banda at the drums, the soloing kept right on swinging. That attribute would be richly deserved, too, by the pianist Theo Saunders, who’s recorded with Bill Evans, and anybody else who needed a fellow star. His every chorus filled the plate with goodies.

He picked up where Fielder left off to breathe and rest in a dark corner. There the gentleman would play along softly as though he couldn’t resist.

The guy had something you don’t always see around town: Enthusiasm.

Photos by Tony Gieske.  To read and see more of Tony’s essays and photos at his personal web site click HERE.

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