Sunday, July 16, 2017

R.I.P. Old School Record Guy and Jazz Lover JOE FIELDS

Joe Fields, a jazz lover and record label owner who took a chance on me with four or five jazz LPs in the 1970s has died.

He was 88.

Downbeat reports:

Joe Fields, a driving force in the jazz music business for over 50 years, passed away on July 12. He was 88 years old.

Fields was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1929 and raised in Brooklyn. In high school he was an accomplished athlete, winning the prestigious New York Journal American Lou Gehrig award. He was also an industrious student, working many jobs during his school years, including selling newspapers, pushing a rack in the Garment District and driving a cab. He played college football at Syracuse and the University of Bridgeport, where he was captain of his team his senior year. While attending Bridgeport, he met and married the woman who would become his wife of 66 years, Joan Nancy Boyd.

After graduating from college, Fields had several business ventures but found his calling in the music business. In the late 1950s, he began selling records to music stores in Brooklyn. Fields was hired by London Records to pick singles for the United States market.

He worked for MGM, Verve, Prestige and Sue Records before becoming the national sales manager at Buddha Records. While at Buddha, Fields started its jazz division, Cobblestone Records. He started his own record label when he acquired Cobblestone from Buddha and renamed it Muse Records.

I had three artists (co-produced with Skip Drinkwater) on Joe's Muse/Cobblestone:
  • Norman Connors during his Pharoah Sanders period
  • The Grubbs Brothers aka The Visitors, highly influenced by their cousin John Coltrane
  • Catalyst, virtuoso players ranging from hard bop to fusion

Read more at Downbeat and thanks for the photo!





No comments: