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  1. #1

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    When I was finally reunited with many earthly possessions late last month I was looking forward to revisiting live cassettes I'd either made or was given dupes of. The artists were people like Tom Harrell, a Vanguard recording of the last Bill Evans Trio (in need of repair), John Collins with Monty Alexander, lots of Chris Anderson---and Eddie Diehl.People who know me off-line know that things between Eddie and myself ran very long and very deep. I'd have to call him and Jimmy Raney my biggest influences, largely b/c I interacted with both (studied and hung a bit w/Jimmy when he came through in '79). But Eddie and I were friends and playing partners (especially early on) for over 40 years. As many good times as we had (I'm listening to one of the recordings now and just heard a lick I stole!) he could be a pretty damn rough customer. And our own friendship did not end well---sad but true. The combination of his personality, which put many people off, and a mental illness that he never treated, and could make him weird---even (verbally only) mean---as hell were reasons he's not rightfully known today as one of the greatest players ever, at least by my lights. I say this with regret---and as one who loved him as much as I've ever loved anyone, man or woman. He was, in the end the most honest and big-hearted person and musician I've known.But, as Phil Woods said of Benny Goodman, it's the great art we want to remember. So I found these memories---these taped documents of gigs I attended (and sometimes sat in on, as with Pat Patrick and Bill Takas) and, as it happens, was ready anyway to release my own tribute CD (Freddie Bryant says in the liners it's a 'Creative Dedication') of duets with Ray Machiarolla and Sheryl Bailey (and one solo rendition of Reflections in D, in honor of Eddie's love of Ellington). Since it's not out yet I'm thinking if I can get clearances from the heirs of the participants, why not hear from the man himself and include some tracks? They actually are in the exact spirit of the jamming concept we used to 'get' his approach---that of a real improviser. And there's so much to choose from---a cornocopia: Eddie sitting in with Tal and Lynn Christie, both playing their asses off; Eddie and Red Mitchell at Bradley's; and a gig at Zinno where Bob Dorough sat in with Eddie and Bill Takas---and Eddie BURNED on Buzzy---a solo that ought to be studied by serious players. And it all came back as I listened, every note. Not many people could one say that about.So stay tuned---at least two tracks from these archives will bookend the forthcoming recording (Joel Fass and Friends Jam for Eddie Diehl)...

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf View Post
    When I was finally reunited with many earthly possessions late last month I was looking forward to revisiting live cassettes I'd either made or was given dupes of. The artists were people like Tom Harrell, a Vanguard recording of the last Bill Evans Trio (in need of repair), John Collins with Monty Alexander, lots of Chris Anderson---and Eddie Diehl.People who know me off-line know that things between Eddie and myself ran very long and very deep. I'd have to call him and Jimmy Raney my biggest influences, largely b/c I interacted with both (studied and hung a bit w/Jimmy when he came through in '79). But Eddie and I were friends and playing partners (especially early on) for over 40 years. As many good times as we had (I'm listening to one of the recordings now and just heard a lick I stole!) he could be a pretty damn rough customer. And our own friendship did not end well---sad but true. The combination of his personality, which put many people off, and a mental illness that he never treated, and could make him weird---even (verbally only) mean---as hell were reasons he's not rightfully known today as one of the greatest players ever, at least by my lights. I say this with regret---and as one who loved him as much as I've ever loved anyone, man or woman. He was, in the end the most honest and big-hearted person and musician I've known.But, as Phil Woods said of Benny Goodman, it's the great art we want to remember. So I found these memories---these taped documents of gigs I attended (and sometimes sat in on, as with Pat Patrick and Bill Takas) and, as it happens, was ready anyway to release my own tribute CD (Freddie Bryant says in the liners it's a 'Creative Dedication') of duets with Ray Machiarolla and Sheryl Bailey (and one solo rendition of Reflections in D, in honor of Eddie's love of Ellington). Since it's not out yet I'm thinking if I can get clearances from the heirs of the participants, why not hear from the man himself and include some tracks? They actually are in the exact spirit of the jamming concept we used to 'get' his approach---that of a real improviser. And there's so much to choose from---a cornocopia: Eddie sitting in with Tal and Lynn Christie, both playing their asses off; Eddie and Red Mitchell at Bradley's; and a gig at Zinno where Bob Dorough sat in with Eddie and Bill Takas---and Eddie BURNED on Buzzy---a solo that ought to be studied by serious players. And it all came back as I listened, every note. Not many people could one say that about.So stay tuned---at least two tracks from these archives will bookend the forthcoming recording (Joel Fass and Friends Jam for Eddie Diehl)...
    Looking forward. Eddie did some work on my 1937 D'Angelico Style A before it came to me. I called him and we had an hours long chat about guitars and jazz. I have his CD with Hank Jones and also have a couple of old Sonny Stitt records with Eddie as a sideman. He was a great player and I have a fond memory of our chat. RIP Eddie!
    .................................................. .......................................
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  4. #3
    I confess to my own misgivings re the appropriateness of putting out bootlegs at all, all the creepier b/c the participants (except John Beal, a friend I will ask about this) have 'joined the ancestors'---and can't object (or sue if they're agin it---but their heirs can). Artists who are bootlegged generally hate it ---the recordings themselves and the being used for lucre, usually w/o being asked. Also, b/c Tal and Red are 'names' and I'm not I'd dread being accused of piggybacking on other's names and work to draw attention to my own project. So it doesn't quite sit right with me . Maybe the stuff should be released on a different CD than mine? OTOH I'd be letting some unheard items by Eddie, Red and Tal see the light of day---to the joy of those who love their work. Not sure now which way to go, or if I should have thought this through more before posting this sort of on impulse.What do you think, gentlemen? Trying to do the right thing here...
    Last edited by joelf; 10-13-2019 at 08:40 AM.

  5. #4
    I'm looking for opinions re whether to use the material on my CD, for reasons stated above. One trusted friend seemed dubious. Me, I'm still torn.Anybody?...

  6. #5

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    Joel-

    I understand your discomfort. My thought is that it would be odd to have a CD under your name and then tunes you weren't playing on. And yet sharing those performances with their fans is also a generous thing and it's Eddie's own playing to be heard, also a tribute to him. So I would lean towards two CDs- a tribute from you, and a CD of those performances with Eddie. Or perhaps digital downloads, the world being what it is these days. Or maybe Mosaic for the recordings of Eddie, if the source recording quality is good enough? They would handle remastering, clearances, etc., if you didn't want to be covering those costs.

    Also, Joel, hope you are doing well after your move a couple years back.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Joel-I understand your discomfort. My thought is that it would be odd to have a CD under your name and then tunes you weren't playing on. And yet sharing those performances with their fans is also a generous thing and it's Eddie's own playing to be heard, also a tribute to him. So I would lean towards two CDs- a tribute from you, and a CD of those performances with Eddie. Or perhaps digital downloads, the world being what it is these days. Or maybe Mosaic for the recordings of Eddie, if the source recording quality is good enough? They would handle remastering, clearances, etc., if you didn't want to be covering those costs.Also, Joel, hope you are doing well after your move a couple years back.
    Yeah, it's a real conundrum for me. I'm not up for releasing a 2nd CD. I'm not a producer, it took me 10 years to make my solo thing. I don't want the possible aggravation of contacting heirs, etc. Of course I'd want to be fair if there was even a little $ involved---but people, you know how they can be. The main thing about releasing bootlegs of dead folks is that they're not around to say 'heeelll no!!'. Artists are very sensitive and should have right of first refusal (I know that expression is used a whole different way usually)---refusal of release if they think something is sub-par. Sometimes their record companies even hold legal material back---so you KNOW how dicey and complicated this can get. I didn't know Tal Farlow, knew him 'to say goodbye', as an old expression goes, though he seemed a lovely man the one or two times I did speak to him. My point: that's why I'd be uncomfortable as hell putting something out he was on (it was his gig, Eddie sat in), not to mention that he's not around to have his say, yay or nay. See what I'm getting at? It's simple courtesy and appropriate behavior. The case of Eddie is, of course, another thing entirely. We were dear friends from 1976-2016 and everyone knows he was my favorite guitarist, and further know---if they know me at all---where I'm coming from with this tribute project. Bob Dorough (a sitter-in on the Zinno gig with Eddie and Bill Takas) I was friendLY (caps my emphasis) with--played with him a few times and he sang one of my songs. I think he would be amenable. Thr Red Mitchell stuff I ain't goin' within a country mile to touch---even though I did know Red, but only slightly. You guys should know full disclosure of how the date came about: It was supposed to be a duo CD with myself and Sheryl---Eddie was the farthest thing from our minds. But she was unable to finish the date, and the music was good enough that I looked for someone else to finish with me. That turned out to be Ray Macchiarolla, an old friend and very swinging player flying under the radar. Cats in the know are hip to Ray, though. When the recording phase wrapped Eddie died. As I mentioned, we had fallen out--and please don't ever fall out with a beloved friend and then they die---not one of life's joys. But I felt a tribute was a good idea partly to still some of the emotional weirdness, but also happily, the music was right in the jam session tradition Eddie exemplified. He couldn't read except chord charts, just had 'ears like 'Dumbo'. So I figured why not? It was like the spirit world was saying something. Until I got those tapes back I had already put in the liner notes an ED discography and youtube links everyone's heard anyway. When I did get the tapes back, I impulsively (and impulsiveness is a problem for me and has cost me in the past---trying to cool it out as I age) thought I should 'bookend' what Ray, Sheryl and I did with the man himself---give him the floor and especially the last word. Then, as always happens, reality kicked in (riding side-saddle with Jewish Guilt). I'm thinking now that it was TOO impulsive, all of it, including this post itself. Should've kept hush until all the bricks were in place---but that's me. At this point I'm seeking the wise council of people not involved and close to this before doing anything hasty again. I may use one Zinno track, Buzzy. Eddie's solo was just too good to keep under wraps. And it'll be the last tune and final say. But I still covet more opinions from the vox populi here. Please...

  8. #7
    You know, on reflection that Mosaic suggestion is quite an idea. The duo with Red alone is 2 CDs right off the bat.But they're still a business, albeit a well-intentioned one, and have to survive. I don't know that Eddie's name is big enough that they'd take the chance. And I also don't know that they wouldn't. After the dust settles on this project I may call them or Resonance...

  9. #8
    I got a thumbs-up from Sally Dorough (Bob's widow). She gave her blessing to use the one cut (Buzzy) I mentioned on my recording.

    Great, but I still think I should also reach out to Bill Takas's family---it was his gig. There's so little $ involved I can't imagine anyone saying no.

    So this project will come out as Joel Fass and Friends (Ray Macchiarolla and Sheryl Bailey) Jam for Eddie Diehl---with Eddie bookending and having the last word. But I'm just getting my solo project out, and need to promote it, radio, reviews, sales, etc. When the, clamor, (nyuk nyuk) dies down I'll put this one out there. Seriously, it makes no sense to glut the market especially if people don't know who the hell you are in the first place.

    As far as that good suggestion to put the other live tracks over to Mosaic (I was thinking Resonance also) I'll give it a shot. I want no bread, just that they're in the hands of honest people and not bootleggers. Eddie's life was hard enough alive. His friends owe him at least not to have him ripped off dead. If they are even interested I'll tell them some profit share ought to go to Eddie's son Stephan, ex-wife Delsie (sp?), her daughter Vanessa and one other daughter.

    Updates as the project develops...

  10. #9
    The final song list/players:
    w/Ray Machiarolla
    1. E's Minor, Ah's Grow'd Up
    2. Your Call is Very Important to Us
    3. Joel and Ray Like Bacardi (AKA Recarco Nova)
    4. What'll I Do?
    Joel Fass, solo
    5. Reflections in D
    w/Sheryl Bailey
    6. Don't Take Your Love From Me
    7. The Gentle Rain
    8. Shelter (J. Fass)
    9. Folsom Prison Blues
    10. Blame it On the Sun
    11. Tin Tin Deo
    Eddie Diehl, Bob Dorough, (pno), Bill Takas, bass
    12. Buzzy (live at Zinno, 1983)

    Coming soon to a PM (to order) near you...

  11. #10

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    It would be great to hear the John Collins recording. Is there any chance it will be made available? He is very under recorded.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by zephyrregent View Post
    It would be great to hear the John Collins recording. Is there any chance it will be made available? He is very under recorded.
    Like the man said: Mosaic or Resonance for JC and all the other goodies....