John Fedchock

New York Big Band

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John Fedchock is best-known as a former trombonist and occasional arranger with Woody Herman's orchestra, but the release of this "Reservoir" set should also give him a reputation as an important big-band leader in his own right. Fedchock, who provided arrangements for all 11 selections (six jazz standards and five of his originals), gathered together quite an interesting variety of jazzmen for this date. Included among the personnel are many players who have led sessions of their own, including altoist Jon Gordon, Rick Margitza and Rich Perry on tenors, baritonist Scott Robinson, trumpeter Tim Hagans, and (on three numbers) percussionist Jerry Gonzalez. Fedchock's arrangements give his big band a unified group sound and leave plenty of room for the soloists. Among the highlights are a race through "Limehouse Blues" (which has a torrid tenor-baritone tradeoff by Perry and Robinson), a thoughtful feature for Tim Hagans on "Nefertiti," the heated tenor of Rick Margitza on "Caravan," altoist Mark Vinci's showcase on "My Foolish Heart," and the leader's many colorful trombone solos. This straight-ahead set (which also includes Fedchock's "Blues Du Jour," the calypso feel of "Louie's Cheese Party," and a slightly demented romp on the "Flintstones Theme" that is retitled "Flintstoned") is consistently swinging, enjoyable, and easily recommended.

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