Oct 12, 2012
In March of this year, I had a conversation with Conrad Herwig, and we talked about the state of the trombone today. We agreed that there may be a renaissance of sorts happening for the instrument, with any number of top ‘bone players getting to lead bands and release recordings as frontmen.
Further proof for this thesis can be found with the release of Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut, which puts together a quartet composed of three – count ‘em, three – trombone players and a tuba to create a fascinating take on the jazz quartet, and on the musical possibilities of the trombone as a jazz instrument. Fiedler is joined by friends Josh Roseman and Ryan Keberle on trombones, with tuba player extraordinaire Marcus Rojas becoming a one man rhythm section. The CD is a lively mix of covers and Fiedler originals, some of which have been re-arranged from prior recordings with his trio.
I spoke with Joe about the genesis of the band – and the band and CD’s name – as well as the difficulties and fun of making music with three of the same instruments. Plus, you get t find out what a sackbut is. Click here to listen to Podcast 304, which includes musical selections:
Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut – “Don Pullen” from Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut. Perhaps my favorite tune on the CD, Joe dedicated the composition to his “hero of heroes”, the great jazz pianist and organist who passed away at the untimely age of 54.
Joe Fiedler Trio – Title Track from The Crab. Joe reexamined this track from the 2009 release for Big Sackbut, using Rojas’ tuba for John Hebert’s bass and everyone for Michael Sarin’s drums.
Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut – “Ging Gon” from Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut. Originally part of the critically acclaimed Sacred Chrome Orb CD by the Fiedler Trio, Fiedler gave the song a key change and allowed much of the percussion that inspired the song to be implied by the band.