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Joe Fiedler

The New York Times has pinpointed a “feeling for a rugged but jaunty experimentalism” in the music of trombone veteran Joe Fiedler, a figure as esteemed in New York jazz circles as he is in the Afro-Caribbean and pop scenes. He’s an adventurous improviser and bandleader whose recordings range from solo trombone (The Howland Sessions) to quintet (Like, Strange) to trombone/tuba quartet (Big Sackbut, Sackbut Stomp, Live in Graz — “the intersection of gutbucket blues and avant-garde audacity,” JazzTimes) to chordless trio (The Crab, Sacred Chrome Orb, I’m In, Joe Fiedler Plays the Music of Albert Mangelsdorff).

Fiedler’s two Sesame Street-themed albums to date, Open Sesame and Fuzzy and Blue, pay homage to the beloved children’s show where Fiedler has worked as a music director for nearly 15 years. With bold and inventive arrangements of timeless music by Joe Raposo, Jeffrey Moss and more, Fiedler grapples with the legacy of the storied show of which he’s become an integral part. Fuzzy and Blue, opined London Jazz News, is “unnervingly satisfying — hitting a note between scripted nostalgia and improvised jazz that [is] both exciting and comforting at the same time.”

Owing to his long experience in pit bands, salsa groups and countless other professional settings, Fiedler had the opportunity to play trombone for the earliest onstage incarnation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (not long before Hamilton’s runaway success). Tony Award-winning orchestrator Bill Sherman was on the gig and took to Fiedler, bringing him on board the newly revived children’s show Electric Company. After three seasons, Sherman and Fiedler made the transition in 2009 to Sesame Street. From playing 350 gigs a year on the freelance circuit, Fiedler officially became a Sesame Street music director, working on what would become hundreds of song arrangements and thousands of underscoring cues (and still climbing).

A Pittsburgh native and a New Yorker since 1993, Fiedler studied at Allegheny College and the University of Pittsburgh before launching into work as an in-demand sideman. He’s become one of the first-call trombonists in the world, featured on more than 100 recordings. He’s had extensive experience in the heart of the flowering big band scene, playing with Maria Schneider, Chico O’Farrill, the Mingus Big Band, Andrew Hill, Jason Lindner, Dafnis Prieto, Kenny Wheeler, Satoko Fujii, Miguel Zenón and many more. In smaller units he’s played with Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Myra Melford, Bobby Previte, David Weiss’s Endangered Species and a host of others. Fiedler also paid years of dues on the salsa and Latin circuit with Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, Ralph Irizarry and other major acts. His pop credits include Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Wyclef Jean, The Four Tops, Melba Moore and Lesley Gore, to name a few.

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Radio & Podcasts

Joe Fiedler: Will Be Fire

Read "Joe Fiedler: Will Be Fire" reviewed by David Bixler


As an improviser, trombonist Joe Fiedler describes himself as living half in the inside world and half in the outside world. This is evident in his new recording Will Be Fire. For this project, Fiedler collaborates with guitarist Pete McCann, tuba virtuoso Marcus Rojas, and percussionist Jeff Davis, in an elegant instrumentation that pays homage to the late Arthur Blythe. In this episode of LINER NOTES Joe articulates his perspective on the evolution of the trombone and his aspirations for ...

Album Review

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York: Entity

Read "Entity" reviewed by Neri Pollastri


Undicesimo album per l'Orchestra New York di Satoko Fujii, qui composta di tredici elementi, dei quali ben nove già presenti nel primo lavoro, South Wind, risalente al lontano 1997. Il disco è registrato nel maggio del 2019 ed è uscito già lo scorso anno, ma merita egualmente grande attenzione, in quanto si tratta di un lavoro di primissimo livello. Né poteva essere diversamente, considerando non solo la qualità media, altissima, delle produzioni della musicista giapponese, ma anche l'organico straordinario della ...

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Album Review

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York: Entity

Read "Entity" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


As she did in 2019, pianist/composer Satoko Fujii—an artist at home in many formations—opens the new decade with an orchestra recording. Entity, from Fujii's Orchestra New York, is the eleventh release from the ensemble that has remained largely intact for almost twenty-three years. It is an all-star collective that includes saxophonists Oscar Noriega, Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby, trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Herb Robertson, guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Ches Smith. Entity has its moments of tranquility but ...

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Album Review

Joe Fiedler: Like, Strange

Read "Like, Strange" reviewed by Troy Collins


Change can occasionally be necessary for artistic growth. For over a decade, trombonist Joe Fiedler has led a stripped-down bass and drums trio, as documented on Plays The Music of Albert Mangelsdorff (Clean Feed, 2005), The Crab (Clean Feed, 2007), Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound, 2011), and I'm In (Multiphonics, 2015). Seeking a greater range of color and texture in his music, Fielder recruited vanguard saxophonist Jeff Lederer and multifaceted guitarist Pete McCann to join his current working trio with ...

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Album Review

Joe Fiedler: Like, Strange

Read "Like, Strange" reviewed by Geno Thackara


It's not always easy for musicians to know what to call their own stuff, especially the kind of players who prefer not to settle into one cozy niche. Joe Fiedler certainly makes it difficult, being a fan of things from classic swing to avant-garde--some of which use the trombone in easily familiar ways, some of which couldn't be farther away from its usual wheelhouse. Through a career that's ranged from the Glenn Miller Orchestra to Sesame Street, many others have ...

Multiple Reviews

La gravità degli ottoni

Read "La gravità degli ottoni" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Ogni tanto ci piace accorpare incisioni omogenee sotto il profilo strumentale, e poi magari diversissime per esiti espressivi e poetica che le informa. È il caso dei quattro album che trovate qui di seguito passati al vaglio, riuniti nel segno del trombone, in prima istanza, e degli ottoni gravi più in generale. Mark Weber & Michael Vlatkovich Elasticity PFMentum 2015 Valutazione: * * ½ Due di ...

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Album Review

Joe Fiedler Trio: I'm In

Read "I'm In" reviewed by Troy Collins


I'm In is trombonist Joe Fiedler's fourth recording with his longstanding trio and the second on his Multiphonics Music imprint. This session marks a departure of sorts for Fiedler's adventurous three-piece, finding the trombonist, new bassist Rob Jost and stalwart drummer Michael Sarin exploring more traditional blues and jazz forms than heard on the group's previous albums, Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound, 2011), The Crab (Clean Feed, 2007), and Plays The Music of Albert Mangelsdorff (Clean Feed, 2005).A ...

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"A trombonist known for his remarkable array of timbral effects, celebrates a highly enjoyable self-titled debut from his new brass choir, Big Sackbut, [who] skillfully compensates for the lack of a rhythm section as it contrasts boisterous and reflective moods" —Time Out New York

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Entity

Libra Records
2020

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Like, Strange

Multiphonics Music
2017

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I'm In

Multiphonics Music
2015

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Joe Fiedler's Big...

Kedar Entertainment Group
2012

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Sacred Chrome Orb

Self Produced
2012

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The Crab

Clean Feed Records
2008

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Entity

From: Entity
By Joe Fiedler

Pittsburgh Morning

From: Big Sackbut
By Joe Fiedler

Mixed Bag

From: Joe Fiedler's Big Sackbut
By Joe Fiedler

Videos

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