Dearest Alvin, we can't say enough about how wonderful you are as a musician and as a person. Our lives are so much richer and more beautiful because of you and your music. If there's anyone else on earth who'd play a great drum solo and then send a woman in New York City some medicine for her sick cat, we haven't met that person yet! If there's anything we can do for you, please ask Carol to let us know. Meanwhile, we will petition Pres. Obama to move Mississippi next door to New York so we can be around you much more. Henry dedicates his playing to you, Alvin. Here's a poem we love: Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton (at St. Mary's) may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back may you open your eyes to water water waving forever and may you in your innocence sail through this to that
Dear Alvin, I've been following the news about your health these last few months, and am so glad to hear that it is improving. Here's wishing you abundant strength to return soon to your magnificent drumming. Sending you and your family healing joy and encouragement, Your sister in music and peace, Kali. Z.
Mr. Fielder--I'm just writing to say that I've loved and studied your work for a long time, and I appreciate the gifts you've given us and the life experience that I hear in your music. With gratitude and deepest respect, Marc
Alvin, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May you be at peace and proud of the great accomplishments in your life. Ron Futterman
Alvin, Its been a few years since the last time we hung out. You taught me my first rudiments and taught me the importance of practicing them as well as urged me to do my research in drummer history. Most importantly you were encouraging enough to allow me to play the drums alongside you, which believe me was not any easy task, but it was a great honor and important learning experience. You never criticized me or harshly judged me, but did play with an iron fist of authority assertion, which has been imperative to the way I've developed my own playing techniques. You have the best off the wall humor ever, and I will always smile when I think about the sillyness that ensued upon your arrival(s) into Dallas. You are more than an extension of the Gonzalez family, although I see you more as a brother than uncle, despite the 50 year gap between us haha. Thanks for all your influence and love. Heres to recovering, and I will try my hardest to make it out to Jackson for your benefit. Hope to see you there brother, Stefan
I wrote Alvin Fielder a letter in 1993. I was looking for musicians. Jazz musicians. I had been listening intently to jazz recordings for the past two years becoming more engrossed in the music and the concepts, the beauty and revolution of this music. I was at this time trying to be a painter and was sensing a bond in what I was hearing and what I wanted to make happen on canvas. The question in my mind was: "Can I find musicians in Mississippi playing the music called Jazz as it was currently evolving - as it was really evolving?" Someone at the Southern Arts Federation recommended I write to Alvin. So I did. Did Alvin respond? Before I even wrote the letter. Turns out that in those two years prior to writing to him, I had been listening to records that he had donated to Mississippi State University's music library. For the next twelve years, the times that Alvin shared with me were exceptional. His influence is immeasurable. Alvin, you are so beyond beautiful! I love you my friend.
Alvin, just a note to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Andrew & Candy Cyrille
Al: I wish I could pick up the phone and call you right now for one of your marathon conversations! You are without a doubt one of the wisest and hippest people I've ever met. I've learned so much from you about percussion, jazz, music, art, business, history, and life in its extraordinary complexity. You continue to inspire us all in so many profound ways. Thanks for being such a wonderful player, driving force, friend, mentor and role model for those of us trying to find our voice. We love you madly, Alvin!
What an extraordinary legacy, your music and your beautiful daughter Alison. Thank you. You're all in our thoughts and prayers.
Dear Mr. Fielder, While I do not know you or your music, and I am sorry for that, I do know one of your best creations: your beautiful daughter Alison. From the moment she walked into our office, she has been loved by many people. It is not surprising to me that she comes from such special people. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Very Sincerely, Laura Bacon
Alvin, my thoughts and positive vibes are with you. In the few moments that I got to know you, your warmth, humour, and welcoming spirit remain vivid in my mind and soul. All my love to you, Pat Frisco
I believe the true measure of a man's character lies in "deeds of anonymity", or simply what he does without expectations of recogntion. You are such a man, as your gifts of creativity have extended far beyond yourself. While you do not know me, I feel I have come to know you through your music and the inspiration you have bestowed upon other musicians. The light of your spirit shines far and bright and carries with it your message of generosity. May you be well, Mike Skiba
Dear Alvin, It's been years by now since I've seen you. Chris Parker brought me down to your house maybe 10 years ago and we spent the whole day together, the three of us, playing drums and listening to records. I was blown away by how generous you were with your time and I'll never forget it. In one afternoon you gave me so much to consider and to practice and I'm still putting in the focused effort. One thing in particular that really opened me up was those cross-sticking patterns that Blackwell and Philly Joe had made together. You gave me some of theirs but emphasized that I oughta get my own. I got some and they're still coming. I could go on and on about that day and my visits with you in New York in the years that followed, but the thing is you blessed me and I would like to return the favor with this heartfelt Thank You, with Light and Love, from Anders
Alvin: Wow - it's been quite a while since our almost daily visits at the music store in Starkville, but I wanted to let you know how much I cherished those conversations. Seems like yesterday when we were laughing about some crazy tale about some crazy cat from some crazy gig... I'm still @ Backstage Music and playing 2-3 gigs every month. Kids are grown and I even have a 6 month old granddaughter. I'm looking forward to the concert in Jackson next month and very much hope that we can spend a few minutes catching up. Take care my friend and Godspeed. Jim Beaty Starkville
Best wishes to Mr. Fielder and hope for rcovery!
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