Sunday, March 24, 2024

Memories and music at the passing of Ernie Fields Jr.

Ernie Fields Jr. was more than a bandmate and friend; he was my trusted brother for more than 40 years. A confidant, support, and an uncle to my children, he filled our lives with joy and laughter.

 Ernie with me and with my friend Alice in Los Angeles in 2022

Despite his notoriously salty language, Ernie embodied the very essence of love and generosity. He leaves a legacy of humor and wisdom that lives on in our hearts, and we’ll strive to carry on his signature koolmankool.

Ernie’s sense of humor was truly one-of-a-kind. HE WAS NEVER SERIOUS, UNTIL HE WAS SERIOUS, AND THEN HE WAS VERY SERIOUS, but it was short-lived.

I used to be late for sessions. He said, “I’m going to quit calling you for gigs if you keep being late.”  After I gave him a bunch of excuses he looked at me, very seriously, and said, “LEAVE EARLY.” That was just one piece of advice he gave me that changed my life. He knew how to get your attention without hurting your feelings. 

Ernie's spirit will live on in the multitude of lives he has touched -- professionally and personally. My family, including my band family, are blessed to be in that number.

I’m grateful for the music he leaves us and proud to share these two links to tracks Ernie recorded with my band.

Get Down Widcho Baad Self

Ernie's Bag

My latest album, set for official release in June, features Ernie’s last performance on baritone sax on the track “I Left My Baby.”

Rest in peace, dear friend. Until we meet again, may your laughter echo through the halls of eternity, bringing joy to all who hear it.

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