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Todd Barkan Remembers Joe Fields

Producer pays tribute to longtime colleague and fellow producer (6.21.29 – 7.12.17)

Joe Fields (photo by Alan Nahigian)
Joe Fields (photo by Alan Nahigian)

He was a record man. When Joe Fields first walked through the swinging front doors of Keystone Korner in San Francisco in 1974, with a bunch of Cedar Walton Firm Roots albums under his arm, I immediately knew I was in the presence of a jazz lifer—even though Joe had only recently opened up his own jazz label, Muse Records, which he transformed from the Cobblestone catalog he acquired from Buddah Records the year prior.

What I also came to know more and more about, over the following 44 years of friendship and collaboration with Joe, was the extent of the commitment he had to both the music and the musicians we worked with all of our professional lives. Little Joey Finkelstein of Brooklyn, N.Y., quickly went from being an all-star halfback at Erasmus Hall and the University of Bridgeport to energetically hustling singles and albums for London Records, MGM, Verve, Prestige and Sue before becoming the national sales manager at Buddha.

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