Art Dedrick, like his better-known little brother Lyle "Rusty" Dedrick, was good enough at jazz to work as a sideman of the fine vibraphonist Red Norvo, not to mention employment in the big bands of Vaughn Monroe and Claude Thornhill. The brothers wound up expending most of their musical energy in musical theater pit bands, television studio orchestras, and, of course, recording sessions necessary to follow the many strange tangents of popular music between the '40s and '70s. Hailing from Delevan, NY, the Dedrick boys were brothers in brass. The rusty one developed a likable soloing style on trumpet, while Art Dedrick's reach was literally longer: the trombone.
The latter brother's work as an arranger and composer may inevitably be taken more seriously than the brass instrument he lugged around, especially considering his importance in the development of the school jazz ensemble. He began publishing his own stage-band pieces in 1954 with his own Kendor firm, eventually coming up with more than 300 works. The more the merrier, because at the time Dedrick started out there were very few quality arrangements available for school ensembles of this sort. The catalog is, by any standards, a somewhat amazing series of both original compositions and unique arrangements of classical material, including trombone duets, solos for various saxophones, a tuba solo, a trumpet trio, and a duet for clarinet and bassoon. "19 Progressive Trombone Duets" is a filet mignon in terms of concept-extending writing; the trumpet trio "Space Cadets" will appeal to anyone who has ever been called one, providing he or she can get it together to get to the performance. Dedrick's children were members of a '70s vocal pop group, the Free Design.