John Fedchock New York Big Band: On the Edge

John Fedchock’s music exemplifies some of the brighter orchestral writing for the big bands playing around town these days. His harmonies and textures are colorful and always interesting. Furthermore, within the idiom of a modern big band, his music is jaunty, and it swings, if perhaps not for dancing.

The group gathers some impressive musicians, who are well-versed and play these tight arrangements with verve and elan.

The songs include four sprightly originals, modern pieces by Wayne Shorter, Thad Jones, and Oliver Nelson, with a funny romp on Jaco Pastorius’ “Teen Town” and sensitive readings of the Ellington-Strayhorn “Isfahan” and Lee Morgan’s “Ceora.”

Fedchock is also a fine trombonist, and other soloists of note include saxophonists Mark Vinci, Rich Margitza, and Rich Perry, and trumpeters Scott Wendholdt, Greg Gisbert, and Tim Hagans. The entire band plays with a bright sparkle, lending dignity and class to these intelligent big band arrangements.