'Though known as a guitarist (Gene Bertoncini, Pete Berstein, Ed Cherry and other top guitar players are writing liner notes to his debut solo CD Melody Messenger, Joel has been writing music almost as long as he's been playing (since 1964). Here are some quotes by some of the jazz elite:
Arranging giant Bill Finegan (Glenn Miller, Sauter-Finegan, many others) about Joel's song Not a Bad November 'This is a classy tune. You should give it to Tony Bennett'.
Phil Woods also said "November' is beautiful, congrats on a great tune and you have my blessing to quote me anywhere' In 1997 The Phil Woods Quintet also performed an original chart: Tiger Phil Woods.
Benny Golson, after playing through Joel's instrumental compositions: 'You're one of the only guys (in jazz) writing real melodies'.
Joel Fass also wrote in 2008 (with Jimmy Norman) You're My Foundation---a song written for the Jazz Foundation of America and viewable on youtube on a video with JFA clients singing and Quincy Jones, Harold Ashby, Freddie Hubbard and others in the video. It has been seen around the world. One may go to youtube and put 'Story of You're My Foundation' in the search box to view this moving video. (The composers also earn royalties when you click on the page).