GoldMine Interview: Noel Paul Stookey takes us back and forth with Fazz, Now and Then
Paul of Peter and Mary fame returns with an eclectic, and excellent, collection of old and new
By Dave Thompson
Goldmine: The Music Collectors Magazine
Ask Noel Paul Stookey – the Paul in Peter, Paul and Mary – what “Fazz” means, and initially he’ll tell you it’s the title of his new album. And more than that, for Fazz: Now & Then, released through his own NeWorld Multimedia label, is a genuinely remarkable record, a collection that not only refuses to sit still for a moment, it’s adamant that listeners won’t want to, either.
Press a little harder, however, and the whole tale comes out. How, once upon a long time ago, Peter, Paul and Mary were sent out on tour with the Dave Brubeck Quartet (and you thought Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees was a mismatch!). During the course of which, nightly, it fell to the headliners’ saxophonist, Paul Desmond, to introduce the three folkies to his audience.
It was not a task he took lightly. Stookey reflects, “I think Paul felt rather uncomfortable sharing the stage with people who he assumed knew only three chords on the guitar, so he said ‘I don’t know whether to call their music ‘Fazz’ or ‘Jolk.’ We all knew which he preferred.”
Stookey, on the other hand, took the other one to his heart. “Fazz. It’s such a great word.” It’s also a very appropriate one, not only for the new record, but for his career in general.
Growing up, Stookey explains,… continue