Trombonist Joe Fiedler has a heavy track record with his trio, an exploratory unit featuring bassist Rob Jost and drummer Michael Sarin. But on his robustly engaging new album, Like, Strange, Fiedler beefs up his front line, bringing in saxophonist Jeff Lederer and guitarist Pete McCann. More than a mere expansion, this has transformed the music, nudging Fiedler more toward fleshed-out harmony, jostling counterpoint and Afro-Latin rhythm.
Among trombonist Joe Fiedler’s many talents is his uncanny ability to blur the line between avant-garde and mainstream jazz. It’s a maneuver he’s perfected over the years as the leader of his adventurous trio with bassist Rob Jost and drummer Michael Sarin. With his latest project, Fiedler expands on that aesthetic, augmenting the trio with the addition of saxophonist Jeff Lederer and guitarist Pete McCann. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
As a soloist Fiedler is a master at exploring his instrument’s range, he gets high notes out of it you’d swear were coming from a lead trumpet and he seems to revel in the tag-team effects he creates when jousting with Lederer and McCann. The advantage, to the listener, is greater texture and wider melodic variation.
Working with a larger instrumental palette, Fiedler utilizes the interpretive prowess of his new bandmates to expand the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic potential of his writing...an exceptional offering, and his most fully realized album as a leader to date.