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John Fedchock Quartet: Fluidity

“Concept” seems to be the selling point of choice for a preponderance of releases these days. There’s always an angle to be played, whether paying tribute to a fallen icon, importing high-profile guest artists, saluting a composer or mashing jazz with another genre. With the aptly titled Fluidity, the undersung trombonist John Fedchock foregoes concept in favor of a satisfying old-school approach to album programming. Fedchock’s quartet, caught live over three nights at the now-defunct Virginia Beach club Havana Nights, offers a set of finely wrought standards hinged to the resonant tones and agile melody readings and improvisations of its leader.

The set opens on a laidback note, with Fedchock offering a mellow reading of “East of the Sun” and then romping through a rangy solo over a midtempo swing groove, handily demonstrating his fluidity as an improviser. Pianist John Toomey follows with a similarly engaging turn, gracefully building and rebuilding momentum with the help of bassist Jimmy Masters. The latter’s solo is followed by dexterous brushes playing from drummer Dave Ratajczak, a longtime Fedchock associate who died last year.

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