Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Eddie McFadden, Wherever You May Be


Not much is known about Jimmy Smith's late '50s/early '60s guitarist beyond the fact that he was born on this date in 1928.  (The above rare pic was found on organist Dan Fogel's site.)  For discographical information, go to jazzdisco.org, search his name, go to each “hit” on the results page and search his name again.  It seems all the tracks listed were made on recording dates with Mr. Smith.

I found this wonderful item on a 2008 post by another McFadden seeker.

Got a minute?  If you do, consider spending it listening to Eddie's solo from 0:48 to 1:48 before Lou Donaldson's.  Exactly one minute:

I'm not alone in my interest in Mr. McFadden's career and his understated, quietly intense improvisations.  If you have information worth sharing, please do so, and I'll post it here. Thanks! 

Can someone at least confirm that he is still "on the planet"?

16 comments:

  1. Well Tony Have you ever found anything about Mr. McFadden? I was wondering about him and even queried a well known Philly Guitarist about him of which I got no response. Probably if you had a chance to rap with Jimmy Ponder, he might have some info. I did read that he was an influence on Benson. His individual approach to bop language on guitar certainly never went unnoticed by myself since I first heard the session with Mobley, Donaldson, Byrd many, many years ago. I think the most recent recording of him I have is 1978 Don Patterson recording "Why Not" with Bootsie Barnes. It is the sound of another Era. Certainly guys have the chops but not the community. The individualist pursuit of the green is much more and it dumbs the musical language that gives us older and mid-aged folks so much good energy . Musicians didnt have to pay the rent they have to now and Urban blight was not so complete. Keep me posted and I'm certainly going to look thru your blog. I'm a working guitarist here in NYC. Thanks

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  2. No one has yet contacted me with an update on Eddie McFadden, but I do appreciate your alerting me to that Don Patterson album. I had never heard of Bootsie Barnes until reading your message, but I've just found a brief videoclip of his performing a Hank Mobley's "No Room for Squares" at Birdland. Thanks for that increment of knowledge. (Must get around to posting something on Hank!) The clip is here (top of the page, at least at the moment): http://www.phillyjazz.org/jukebox/andromeda.php I found the Wikipedia entry for Barnes very informative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootsie_Barnes

    When I first posted on Jimmy Ponder, I tried to let him know about it, but couldn't find any way to reach him. (The Pittsburgh radio station that had recently carried his show live took my name and number, but didn't get back to me.) I agree that Jimmy would know about Eddie if any one does.

    As for "the sound of another era" . . . Yes and No. (A great Wayne Shorter tune, by the way!) Although we can't recreate the conditions under which bebop, hard bop, and soul jazz were (and thank God for that!) the greatness of the music (and of all music that deserves to be called "classical") is that its power transcends the historical circumstances of its birth. (There are no more 19th-century Germans, but Beethoven's music still has the power to thrill millions of non-Germans in the 21st century.) I I think we're creating new communities based on the music's power, but that will have to include paying tribute to the original, originating, communities by learning their history.

    One day I too will be "a working guitarist here in NYC." Do you have a site?

    Tony

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  3. P.S.: In my comment, I accidentally left out a key word in the sentence beginning: "Although we can't recreate . . . " I initially wanted to say "were created," but didn't like "recreate" and "created" in the same sentence, and wound up not supplying any verb at all. I let the discerning reader do that.

    For some unknown reason I haven't until now mentioned my favorite McFadden solo: he opens "Just Friends" on Jimmy Smith's "House Party" album.

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  4. He died in Philly in 1992 age 65. RIP....

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  5. Thanks for that information. Gone too soon.

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  6. Thanks for making this great site.

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    1. Wish I had time to keep it up. Maybe some day . . . Thanks for taking the time to express appreciation for a post that's over three years old! -- Tony

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  7. http://articles.philly.com/1992-09-28/news/26024278_1_musical-gift-jazz-guitar

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    1. Thanks, awb, for the link to that very informative notice of his passing. It continues to amaze that a post from so long ago manages to attract such interest and help. -- Tony

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  8. Worked with for year or just prior to his passing. A great guitarist and a gentleman.

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    1. If there is a virtuous way of being envious, Tom, I am envious of you. (:^D) Thanks for shedding more light, and connecting. -- Tony

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  9. Very interesting page! Very underrated guitarist...

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  10. Nice info on your page! He was a very underrated guitarist...

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  11. Happy to get comments like this -- even five years after posting! Yes, underrated, and missed. A member of an irreplaceable generation. -- Tony

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  12. I'm a guitarist also (in the 'shed right now) and I googled Eddie McFadden. It seems he played Guild, which I had one also. I'm looking for another one! Maybe I'll find the one that Eddie had...

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    1. Thanks for your patience, Thaddeus! Google finally let me back in! (:^D) But how can I be mad at them when they let us share, so easily, our love of the music and our instrument and honor its unsung (or at least insufficiently appreciated) heroes. When you exit the shed, check out (if you haven't already) Jimmy Smith's "House Party" with EF! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_Party_%28Jimmy_Smith_album%29 -- Best, Tony

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