By Brad Cohan | Published February 2019
There’s good reason why virtuosic trombonist, composer and arranger John Fedchock—a Woody Herman Orchestra alum and three-decade-strong New York City jazz stalwart—titled a previous album with his nimble quartet Fluidity: His music is steeped in free-flowing ideas and sounds like sheer, effortless joy.
Now, Fedchock and company have followed up Fluidity with what’s being billed as its sequel, and it’s a peppy joyride worthy of its predecessor. Dubbed Reminiscence, and made up of a hodgepodge of standards and originals captured live during a three-night run at Virginia Beach jazz hub Havana Nights, the recording displays both an intimate rapport and raucous feel.
Over seven compositions, Fedchock’s inviting blend of scintillating tone, ear-wormy hooks and bouncy bop romps are met with wild applause that pull the listener inside the club. From the program’s spirited, jazzed-up get-go on the Fedchock original “The Third Degree,” the quartet (save “Brazilian Fantasy,” another Fedchock number) are ostensibly deep in a telepathic zone, their built-in chemistry palpable from decades of playing together. Running the gamut from red-hot chugging blues (Fedchock’s “Loose Change”), heartstring-tugging balladry (a Latin-tinged take on trombonist J.J Johnson’s “Lament”), to spunky bop (a cover of the 1950s standard “The End Of A Love Affair” by Edward Redding), Reminiscence, which also includes standards by Harry Warren and Tadd Dameron, is as breezy and laid-back as the Virginia beach the set was recorded near. It’s a conversational back-and-forth that swings with abandon, spritzed with improvisational touches.
Reminiscence: The Third Degree; Loose Change; Lament; The End Of A Love Affair; You’re My Everything; If You Could See Me Now; Brazilian Fantasy. (47:36)
Personnel: John Fedchock, trombone; John Toomey, piano; Jimmy Masters, bass; Dave Ratajczak, Billy Williams (7), drums.