On Thursday, October 2nd, the legendary jazz pianist Anne Fadale will be inducted into the Buffalo Hall Of Fame. This is a long overdue acknowledgement for one of the true jazz greats to grace us with her presence in Buffalo. Her jazz pedigree includes being mentored by the great Oscar Peterson, who referred to her as his contemporary according to the stories told by her son Bud Fadale.
Her presence remains strong as she was the matriarch of what many call “Buffalo's First Family of Jazz” and on any given weekend, you might find a Fadale performing somewhere. She was the regular pianist also for years with WBEN radio and TV.
This family labor of love for jazz and for Anne Fadale has given us the gifts of two recordings restored by Select Sound Studios and Bud Fadale. Back in 1983, a live studio recording of Anne Fadale on piano was completed. She asked her two sons, Bud on bass and Charlie on drums to accompany her on this recording. According to Bud, or as some call him, Buddy, he had not heard the recording until most recently.
The second 1983 recording also includes the late great Elvin Shepherd. Buddy has painstakingly, along with the help of Select Sound Studios, has had these recordings digitally re-mastered into two CD’s. The first is entitled: How Time Goes By (the Lost Sessions), The Anne Fadale Trio. The second CD recording is labeled: That’s All, The Anne Fadale Trio Featuring Elvin Shepherd.
For Buddy and his family, it is an emotional joy to hear as well as share the recordings. As Buddy puts it:
On the How Time Goes By CD, we get fifteen tracks of musical force indeed. This live recording shows the extraordinary talents of Anne Fadale as a jazz pianist. Buddy was kind enough to provide the CD’s for listening. On this CD, the emotional styling on the Johnny Mandel tune Emily literally sings and you can envision her right hand giving the tune a vibrato improvisation. On the 9th track, There Is No Greater Love, you can hear the swing in Anne Fadale as she commands the piano to dance with her. This is a true recording treasure for all of Buffalo to possess. Here is Anne Fadale on the mesmerizing tune Emily:
On the 13 tracks That’s All CD, it begins with an introduction from the late WBFO architect of Jazz, John Hunt. I will admit, hearing the voice of the late John Hunt introducing Anne Fadale and then later Elvin Shepherd hit me hard. John Hunt was taken from us in 1985 by cancer at the age of 33. During the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, John Hunt transformed WBFO into a powerhouse jazz station. One I listened to endlessly and was a true source of an awakening to jazz.
This CD features the great Elvin Shepherd on tenor saxophone. And the combination of Anne Fadale and Shepherd is a monumental uniting of two Buffalo jazz greats. Track 5, Give Me The Simple Life composed by Rube Bloom, shows how powerful Shepherd was on the saxophone and we hear Anne Fadale turn this into a rousing jazz tune. Shepherd shines on his own composition Shep’s Blues and it is an opportunity to hear the rapidity of note changes by Elvin. Not to be lost on either recording are the fine accompaniment of Bud Fadale on string bass and Charlie Fadale on drums. The performances are stellar and you can picture the encouraging eyes of their Mother upon them and urging them on. Here is Anne Fadale and Elvin Shepherd on the tune Give Me The Simple Life:
Perhaps equally important to the music, if you can dare to say such, are the John Hunt interviews of both Elvin Shepherd and Anne Fadale. You are ported back to a special time of jazz in the Buffalo area. Anne talks to John Hunt about her story, her family's story, and bringing her sons into jazz. And, to hear a brief 37 seconds of Elvin Shepherd talking is a real treat as Hunt attempts to interview him before he needs to head out to a gig. These are treasures in the annals of Buffalo jazz history. (Here is a picture of John Hunt in 1982 giving Bobby Militello the Jazz Performer of the Year Award.)
A Buffalo Jazz History Moment
On Thursday, October 2nd, as Anne Fadale is inducted into the Buffalo Hall of Fame, let us remember the wonderful treasure she represents to all of Greater Buffalo. These recordings give us the gift of a moment in time, 1983, when history recorded the timeless extraordinary talents of one the area’s most graceful jazz artists. Let us count our lucky stars that history divined such a moment for all of us.
Keep Jazz Alive In WNY!!