Autobiography of Legendary Jazz Composer Irving Fields Now Available
"The Pianos I Have Known: The Autobiography Of Irving Fields" was released this past week. Collaboratively written between 94 year old Irving Fields and Huffington Post sports and music columnist Tony Sachs and edited and released by music critic Aaron Joy through his indie book publishing and music label Roman Midnight Music.
Irving is "the composer of chart-topping songs performed by the likes of Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan and Xavier Cugat...one of the original Manhattan "society" cocktail pianists whose career stretches back to the days of Prohibition...whose sister Peppy was known as the Sophie Tucker of Miami Beach due to her long running radio show...the originator of one of the first piano-drum-bass trios, with a later trio lasting nearly 40 years...the man who first fused Jewish and Latin music with the classic 1959 album "Bagels & Bongos"...a headliner at Carnegie Hall, top draw on round-the-world cruises, star of radio and TV, and writer/performer of a hit song on YouTube...and he's still playing six nights a week as he approaches his 100th birthday.
This is the life of a Jewish kid from the Lower East Side who hated practicing piano." He's also the inspiration behind the writing of the book "And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl" about Jewish music history and the first release by the ReBoot Stereophonic jazz reissue label.
The book, at nearly 300 pages, covers Irving's life growing up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, performing in local Jewish theaters. It tells of his being inspired by a trip to Cuba and forming his legendary trio, recording his albums and making hit records. It also gives a look behind many of his popular songs, as he played with many celebrities including songwriter Albert Gamse, Jackie Mason, Canadian Jewish fusion artist Josh "SoCalled" Dolgin, and then found a second career well past retirement age. Also included are unseen photos, the first published visual discography of his albums, and an appendix on his sister Peppy Fields, "the Sophie Tucker of Miami," who started a career in New York as a radio host before relocating south. 30 year Manhattan lounge pianist Albert Aprigliano, whose often worked with Irving over the decades, also contributed a short introduction to the book.
The book is currently available only in paperback (kindle forthcoming), via Lulu, inc. on Amazon, and is also available here.