Jane Fielding: Embers Glow

It's a surprise, given the quality of her voice and delivery, that Fielding did only two albums, both represented on this limited edition LP


Jane Fielding could well be described as a great talent who was not promoted as she should have been. Exposed to music as an infant she listened to her mother playing classics on piano and sang her first song, Skylark, at age four. Joining her first band, the musicians told her she wasn’t a singer. She was a jazz musician who sings. “Oh, is that what I’m doing?” she responded. She only made two albums, a trio with pianist Lou Levy in 1955 and this album in 1956, both recorded by Jazz West, a small independent now long gone. Both were excellent and fortunately this release includes four bonus tracks from the 1955 trio LP.

From the opening track, Embers Glow, Jane demonstrates unique jazz phrasing and the ability to improvise freely on the lyrics. Her low, husky voice was ideal for jazz, and she had perfect pitch. On this album she sings right on the beat through every selection and receives sterling support from pianist Kenny Drew, who also wrote the simple arrangements.

The selections benefit from solos by altoist Joe Maini and tenor saxist Ted Efantis who she was dating at the time. A Fresh Sound reissue a few years back listed Teddy Edwards as the tenor but it was Efantis. Rhythm section support comes from Drew, bassist Paul Chambers, no doubt in California with the Miles Davis quintet at the time, or Leroy Vinnegar and Lawrnce Marable on drums.

In a mixture of well-known and obscure standards, every track is a musical gem. There are near-perfect readings of ’Round Midnight and In Love In Vain and the bonus tracks show how well Jane integrated with Levy and Red Mitchell to make a three-way jazz trio.

Jane Fielding did get several gigs in California over the years but never recorded again. She suffered a stroke in 1996 and died in 2000 aged 65. This Supper Club release is a limited edition of just 750 copies, so if you fancy it don’t hang about. My review disc is already up to number 356. This is vocal jazz in bop style of an extremely high standard.

Embers Glow; Our Waltz; Key Largo; Along With Me; In Love In Vain; ’Round About Midnight; Too Marvelous For Words; Make The Man Love Me; Right Boy For Me; All Dressed Up Tonight And No Place to Go; I Wish I Knew; How Long As This Been Going On; Something To Remember You By; Stars Didn’t Fall (41.56)
Fielding (v) with collective personnel: Joe Maini (as); Ted Efantis (ts); Kenny Drew, Lou Levy (p); Paul Chambers, Leroy Vinegar, Red Mitchell (b); Lawrence Marable (d). Hollywood, August 1955 & February 1956.
Supper Club 031