Joe Fiedler / Joe Fiedler Trio

Sacred Chrome Orb

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The trombone is not often heard as the sole lead voice on an album. Even masters of the instrument like J.J. Johnson or Albert Mangelsdorff (to whom Joe Fiedler paid tribute a few years ago, on a superb Clean Feed release) usually surrounded themselves with trumpeters or saxophonists, if not both. But on this disc, Fiedler steps bravely to the microphone, backed by bassist John Hébert (who also played on the Mangelsdorff tribute), and drummer Michael Sarin, and swings mightily for nearly an hour. The title track pairs his rich, full tone with a skittering rhythmic intricacy from his bandmates, and there and throughout the disc, he journeys up and down the horn's range, from deep gastric rumbles to squeaking high notes, while maintaining a sense of swing that bridges the gap between free jazz experimentalism and hard bop's bluesy energy. Hébert is a ferociously strong bassist who takes over on "Ging Gong" with a thick, rough tone as Fiedler blows through a mute. Indeed, there's as much space here devoted to the rhythm section as to the leader: "Two Kooks" is a showcase for Hébert and Sarin, who swing in a deeply funky manner. With only three instruments, these extremely talented musicians have made a thoroughly enjoyable album that will appeal to fans of mainstream, bluesy jazz.

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