Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cd Review: John Fedchock "Like It Is"

Trombonist and world-class arranger John Fedchock has enjoyed a 35-year career that has included being the chief arranger for the legendary Woody Herman during the 1980's.  This is the 5th album for the 16-piece band and Fedchock's eighth as leader.  "Like it is" features five Fedchock originals and five arrangements of Jazz and American classics.  I absolutely love his arrangements, they are fresh and new but remain true to the history of the great big bands.  His Trombone playing is superb, his tone is heavenly and his improvisation is what ever master Jazz player strives for.

Fed chock's idea for this album is his musical desire to mesh the old with the new.  "Even though many embrace the big band's evolution, there seem to be plenty of folks who'd prefer everything just remain like it was.  But truth be told, some of the best things in music have come from combining the 'Like it was' with the 'Like it is', melding the greatness of the past with a fresh perspective using today ears". 

The musicians on this album are all experienced New York City superstars and prove the point in eleven different outstanding solos.  Saxophonists Mark Vinci, Charles Pillow, Rich Perry, Walt Weiskopf, Gary Smulyan, and Scott Robinson.  Trumpeters Scott Wendholt and Barry Ries, Pianist Allen Farnham, Bassist Dick Sarpola and Drummer Dave Ratajczak.  Bobby Sanabria's Latin percussion joins the band on three tracks bringing the sound and Rhythm to perfection!

The playlist for the CD is what you would expect from John, some old, some new but all exceptional music.

1, "You and the Night and the Music"
2. "Like It Is"
3. "Never Let Me Go"
4. "Just Sayin"
5. "Ojos De Rojo"
6. " Hair of the Doag"
7. "Havana"
8. "Just Squeeze Me"
9. "For Heavens's Sake"
10. "Ten Thirty 30"

If you long for the big band sound and arrangement of the past re-mastered to today's musical world, you must pick up this CD.  This band captures the emotion of the songs and yet can run with the best of the best bands of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I could listen to John Fedchock play Trombone forever and never get bored.  His feel for standards and sound are as good as it gets! Don't just take my word for it, listen to the "YouTube" link below of John playing "Never Let Me Go"!

Ok, now listen to the "Youtube" of John Fedchock's New York Big Band playing the Dietz and Schwartz gem "You and the Night and the Music".

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