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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Scott Friedlander

The late comic book legend and avant music enthusiast Harvey Pekar proclaims Joe Fiedler as “among the most impressive trombonists to emerge in the past couple of decades” (via Signal to Noise). Time Out New York recognizes the diversity of settings in which Joe receives the first call, heralding him as “an MVP in configurations that range from salsa bands to the jazz avant-garde.” Practitioners of his instrument have also taken notice; Stan Pethel of the International Trombone Association Journal declares, “You will be hard pressed to find more adventurous and imaginative use of the trombone as an instrument of musical expression.”

A veteran of the New York music scene, Joe has worked with everyone from Anthony Braxton and Cecil Taylor to Wyclef Jean and Jennifer Lopez, from Andrew Hill and Lee Konitz to Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri. He has contributed to over one hundred recordings and countless performances, and is a regular member of large groups led by Charles Tolliver, Miguel Zenón, David Weiss, and Jason Lindner, among others.

Joe’s newest album, Big Sackbut (Yellow Sound), is the eponymous debut by a quartet of the same name, which also features the trombonists Ryan Keberle and Josh Roseman, and the tubist Marcus Rojas. The project was inspired by Joe’s first experience hearing the World Saxophone Quartet live, and resolving to one day create a lower-register equivalent. Joe speaks:

The drive and energy that they put forth, all without a traditional rhythm section was quite compelling. In addition, the tunes had a wonderful balance of ‘loose-tightness’ or ‘tight-looseness’ that totally sucked me right in. And this is to say nothing of the four powerhouse solo voices. I immediately thought of how I might incorporate my image of all of those elements into a trombone driven project of my own. Those ideas rattled around in my head for more than 20 years. Then a little more than two years ago, while on a gig with Ryan Keberle, I told him of my intention to finally follow through and put it all together. As it turned out he was curating a series for the New York Slide Workers Union and offered me a gig. It was just the little nudge that I needed to bring the project to life, and here it is!

We look forward to hosting the album release party for Big Sackbut this Saturday, September 8th. This event has been selected by Time Out New York as a Critics’ Pick, and included on their itinerary for a “Perfect Saturday.”

Stream a sneak peak from the record below:

[audio https://www.jazzspeaks.org/wp-content/MEDIA/JoeFiedler’sBigSackbut_MixedBag.mp3]