Anita Brown


Anita's Blog

The Leading Edge: John Fedchock, Unedited (Sept. 2010 Issue)

Who were your top three earliest influences as a lead player before you turned thirty?


John Fedchock

            I first became interested in the jazz trombone at the age of 16, when I discovered recordings of Urbie Green.  His sound and command of the instrument were astounding, and his versatility in styles was uncanny.  His was the sound and style I tried to emulate most in my early years playing jazz trombone.  He was not only a jazz player, but one of the greatest lead trombonists of all time.  Even at a young age, I could recognize this from his recordings.  I discovered that he played with Woody Herman’s band in the 1950s, and immediately became a Woody Herman fan.  While I was in high school I saw Woody’s band play several times in concert.  Jim Pugh was the lead trombonist at the time, and being such a fan of the band, I made a point of buying all the albums that band released, including those with Jim.  It eventually paid off 5 years later when I actually joined Woody’s band, staying for 7 years.  I knew the style of lead player Woody was looking for, because I had studied all the great players that had passed through his band (Bill Harris, Urbie Green, Carl Fontana, Phil Wilson, etc).  I first played the jazz chair for 3 years with Woody, then moved up to the lead chair for another 4 years.  As a college student, my love for Woody’s band brought me to investigate all the other touring big bands and their recordings, and I was particularly impressed by Al Grey’s concept in playing with the Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie big bands, which had a very special and persona sound, different from others I had studied.  That got me thinking more about some of the inherent differences in lead playing in relation to the specific band and their unique style of music.

Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment