Alvin Leroy Fielder, Jr.
Born: November 23, 1935, Meridian, Mississippi
Drums, Percussion, Composer
Father Alvin, Sr., studied coronet. Mother played piano
and violin, grandmother played piano, mother's brother played
clarinet. Brother William is Director of Jazz Studies, trumpeter,
and trumpet instructor at Rutgers University.
At 13, began musical studies by joining Harris Senior High
Band in Meridian, Mississippi, under Carlia "Duke"
Oatis. Continued studies with Ed Blackwell while in NO studying
pharmacy at Xavier U. in 1952-53. After transferring to
Texas Southern U. in Houston, TX, continued course of study
with Herb Brockstein. Private lessons with George "Dude"
Brown, Gene Ammons, drummer from Washington, DC, and Clarence
Johnston, James Moody's drummer, from Boston, MA, whenever
they came through Houston working. Also informal lessons
with Jual Curtis and G.T. Hogan.
From 1954-56 worked with the "Pluma" Davis sextet,
which included Don Wilkerson, Richard "Dicky Boy"
Lillie, John Browning, Carl Lott, Cr., and many other Houston
jazz luminaries. Backed such artists as Lowell Fulsom, Amos
Milburn and other R&B artists with extended engagements
in Houston. Also did several studio dates for Duke records.
Active on Houston jazz scene with Jimmy Harrison Quintet,
John Browning quintet, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
From 1959 to 1968, active in Chicago with Sun Ra Arkestra
1960-61, Muhal Richard Abrams 1962-63, Roscoe Mitchell 1963-66,
Eddie Harris and Kalaparusha 1965, co-op trio with Fred
Anderson and Lester Lashley 1967-69. In between, worked
with John Stubblefield, Jack DeJohnette, "Scotty"
Holt, Joseph Jarman, and other Chicago jazz musicians. Charter
member of AACM with Muhal Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred
Anderson, Malachi Favors, Jodie Christian, Steve McCall,
Phil Cohran, Thurman Barker, Ajaramu, Charles Clark, Christopher
Gaddy, Freddy Berry, etc.
While in NY in 1962, played and rehearsed with Ernie Farrow,
Bernard McKinney, Ray McKinney, Wilbur Ware, Vincent Pitts,
Pat Patrick, George Scott and musicians associated with
Moved back to Mississippi in late 1968 to take over family
pharmacy due to father's illness. With John Reese and Black
Arts Music Society, active in obtaining grants from NEA
and Mississippi Arts Commission to bring musicians such
as Roscoe Mitchell, John Stubblefield, Malachi Favors, Muhal
Richard Abrams, Clifford Jordan and others to Mississippi.
Worked extensively in early 1970s with Joe Jennings, alto
saxophonist now in Atlanta, and Edward "Kidd"
Jordan, multi-saxophonist from no, with whom he co-leads
the Improvisational Arts quintet, now in its 15th year.
One of the most important new music groups in the South,
IAQ has included at various times Clyde Kerr, trumpet; Alvin
Thomas, tenor saxophone; London Branch, Elton Herron, basses;
Darryl Levine, piano; Kent Jordan, flute. Also worked with
Dennis Gonzalez, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist from
Dallas, another leader on the new music scene in Dallas
Eight recordings include Sound (1967) with Roscoe
Mitchell Sextet, No Compromise (1983) with IAQ, The
New New Orleans Music (1985) with New Music Jazz
for Rounder, and Liquid Magic, Bannar, Namesake
(all 1987) and Debenge-Debenge (1988) for Silkheart, (2006) Live at The Blue Monk, and (2004) Resolving Doors, The Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Ike Levin Trio.
Appearances include Lincoln Center, Chicago; NO Jazz &
Heritage Festival; Jazz Marathon '82 Festival, Holland;
Moers Intl. New Jazz Festival, Germany 1982; Jazz Danes
LA Drones Festival, France 1984; Northsea Jazz Festival,
Netherlands 1984; Heinekin Jazz Festival, Netherlands 1988;
Atlanta and Texas jazz festivals 1989; Festival Intl. de