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Brent Black reviews Steve Fidyk “Heads Up!”

Steve Fidyk hits the ground running with one of the finest Posi-Tone releases yet!
Heads up drummers, Steve Fidyk is gaining on you! While certainly not a newbie in the strictest sense, Steve Fidyk’s debut release for Posi-Tone is that of a  highly respected artist, author and columnist that is writing his own story in the upper echelon of improvisational music. The cast of musical co-conspirators here are first rate including perhaps the two finest horn players in Terell Stafford and Tim Warfield. Shawn Purcell is an incredibly under appreciated guitarist and bassist Regan Brough swings deep and hard.
The achilles heel for most straight ahead recordings can be all too predictable covers with arrangements that border on happy hour riffs heard at the local Marriott. Not here, fresh original arrangements join forces with some unexpected covers for a vibrant swing that floats effortlessly throughout this stellar work. Guitarist Shawn Purcell contributes two notable composition including the captivating “Might This Be-Bop.” Everyone seems to be covering a Cole Porter tune and Heads Up! includes an infectious reharm of the classic “Love For Sale” while the re-work of the Johnny Nash “I Can See Clearly Now” actually gives this shop worn tune a second chance at some harmonic life.
“The Flip Flopper” and “The Bender” are two of Fidyk’s finest numbers pulled from the deceptively subtle hard bop showcase. An impressive array of instrumental prowess, fresh arrangements and the uncanny ability to rework a melody with mangling the original finds Steve Fidyk a name to remember and Heads UP! a straight ahead fans dream!