John Fedchock Quartet  Live – Reminiscence – Summit Records 49:08****

( John Fedchock – trombone; John Toomey – piano; Jimmy Masters – bass; Dave Ratajczak – drums – #1-6; Billy Williams – drums #7)

John Fedchock, is a bop oriented trombonist, who prior to leading his own big band and small groups, may be best remembered for his seven year stint with the Woody Herman band in the 1980s. During that time his was the band’s music director, a prominent soloist, and one of Woody’s key arrangers behind such numbers as “Blues For Red” and “Come Sunday”.

This current release on Summit Records Reminiscence is a bookend to the 2015 album Fluidity, in that it pulls together other material from the three nights the group performed at Havana Nights  club in Virginia Beach VA in 2012 and 2013.  

The opening track is an upbeat original from Fedchock entitled “The Third Degree”. It is filled with a delightful sense of informality and free flowing interactions that are neither simple nor locked down.

J.J. Johnson has always been looked upon as the epitome of trombonists. He was also a composer of some distinction as exemplified by his composition “Lament”. Fedchock and the group add to the interest of this number by combining its ballad roots with a Latin touch. Fedchock’s mellow and generous sound is in keeping with the interpretation of the composition. Pianist John Toomey provides a musical gracefulness to the proceedings.

“The End Of A Love Affair” was written by Edward Redding in 1950 and may have been composed  for one of those cabaret revues that were all the rage in New York in the 1950s. Mabel Mercer was the first performer to record the number for her album Songs By Mabel Mercer Vol. 1. for Atlantic records in 1951. Fedchock takes the number at an up-tempo pace which enhances the amusing and breezy identity of the tune.

Tadd Dameron was one of bop’s most influential composer/arranger who died at 48 after having been caught up in the era’s drug culture. One of his signature numbers is “If You Could See Me Now” which was specifically written for vocalist Sarah Vaughan, which she introduced in 1946 and it became an integral part of her repetoire. Fedchock and his cohorts deliver a beautiful reading of the number never losing the composition’s sureness or connection.

John Fedchock is a trombonist of finesse and elegance and he and the band  have delivered a release filed with gratifying engaging music.

TrackList: 
The Third Degree
Loose Change
Lament
The End Of A Love Affair
You’re My Everything
If You Could See Me Now
Brazilian Fantasy

—Pierre Giroux

More Information and Track Samples at Summit Records website:

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