International Trombone Association Journal review by Stan Pethel

Joe Fiedler Trio – The Crab (CF 092)
In his liner notes Andrey Henkin, AllAboutJazz-New York’s Editorial Director, writes: “When you listen to the music on The Crab you know you’re hearing the work of a major innovator.  And few players on any instrument write tunes with as much breadth and diversity, using mutes, mulitphonics, bravado on burners, avant musings, subversive marches and poignant ballads.”

All of the above is true.  You will be hard pressed to find more adventurous and imaginative use of the trombone as an instrument of musical expression than this recording.  For those of us who have heard and remember Albert Mangelsdorff the parallels are obvious.  Fiedler takes the trombone as an instrument of musical exploration even further in the quest that Mangelsdorff began.

Bassist John Hebert and drummer Michael Sarin are both supportive and explorers in their own right.  The ensemble is tight and cohesive even in the most improvisatory sections.  These players are of one mind and in one musical stream.  There’s no cover material here.  All of the music is beyond original and there’s no piano in a harmonic or color role.  Even the packaging of the CD is unique.

Through probably not a CD that will call for repeated hearings it is a great example of what the trombone can do without the usual musical limitations.  In fact, the boundaries have been expanded.

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