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Album Review / Jazz

Fedchock Making a Name for Himself

April 24, 1998|DON HECKMAN

*** JOHN FEDCHOCK

NEW YORK BIG BAND

"On the Edge"

Reservoir

The name may not be especially familiar, but trombonist John Fedchock has been on the jazz scene for a while, an important contributor to the Woody Herman band in the '80s and the chief arranger for the Herman Herd's last two Grammy-nominated albums.

Fedchock's charts--which offer new perspectives on such interesting pieces as Wayne Shorter's "Virgo," Thad Jones' "Ain't Nothin' Nu" and Jaco Pastorius' "Teen Town"--surge with the drive and momentum that always characterized Herman's bands. And they are performed with bravura enthusiasm by a superb collection of players, executing the music with a particularly New York-tinged blend of conciseness and energy.

Among the primary soloists, Fedchock (who describes himself, modestly, as a "player who writes") offers a series of busy trombone solos; there are several attractive choruses from underrated tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza; and trumpeter Tim Hagans' solos underscore his continuing emergence as a singular jazz voice.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good), four stars (excellent).

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