"...Hollenbeck is taking the big band into the future. " — Chris Barton, LA Times
"Profound, imaginative, well-developed pieces for 20 musicians, grown out of jazz and classical music, built around soloists but never subservient to them. As a big-band jazz composer, Mr. Hollenbeck was already good; now he’s become great." — Ben Ratliff, NY Times
"John is one of the most brilliant musicians I’ve had the privilege of working with." — Meredith Monk
The John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble’s second CD eternal interlude earned a Grammy nomination as did their debut CD A Blessing. Their music is an audacious example of the power of big band jazz to express emotions well beyond swing-era clichés.
“John Hollenbeck’s 18-piece Large Ensemble can explode with rhythmic drive and technical dazzle, or it can evoke serene calm, tone poetry and even prayer. It’s a big band for a new eclectic world, building on the legacy of seminal big-band composer Bob Brookmeyer and other role models. Hollenbeck holds it together with intricate drumming, compositional acumen and searing wit as he marshals the resources of top jazz improvisers, including saxophonist Tony Malaby and vocalist, Theo Bleckmann. The ensemble is currently touring to celebrate Eternal
Interlude (nominated for a Grammy in 2009), the eagerly awaited follow-up to A Blessing (nominated for a Grammy in 2006) and Joys and Desires, a memorable side project with Europe’s Jazz Bigband Graz." — David Adler, TimeOut New York
Unlike most contemporary big bands, this is no random agglomeration of freelancers - the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble is an actual band consisting of top New York musicians. They include Ben Kono, flute, soprano and alto saxophones; Jeremy Viner, clarinet and tenor sax; Tony Malaby, tenor and soprano saxophones; Dan Willis, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, English horn; Bohdan Hilash, baritone saxophone, bass and contrabass clarinets; Rob Hudson, Mike Christianson, and Jacob Garchik and Jeff Nelson on trombone; Jon Owens, James DelaGarza, Dave Ballou, and Laurie Frink on trumpets/flugelhorns; Kermit Driscoll, bass; John Hollenbeck, drums; Matt Mitchell, piano; Patricia Franceshy, mallet percussion; Theo Bleckmann, voice; and J.C. Sanford, conductor.
“Calling the drummer-composer John Hollenbeck a jazz musician is like referring to Thom Yorke as a mere rock and roll crooner. It seems a rather narrow description for someone with such prodigious talents and ambitions. Mr. Hollenbeck writes pieces for his large ensemble that are almost symphonic. They share a lot with the more ecstatic strains of contemporary classic music, the kind practiced by John Adams and the drummer’s longtime employer, Meredith Monk. And yet if David Binney is a jazz musician then so is Mr. Hollenbeck. They are both reinvigorating the art form with influences from the broader culture. Jazz needs more of this.” – Devin Leonard, The New York Observer
“The tour de force 19-minute title track unfolds like a shimmering vernacular symphony, merging detailed cornice work with large architectural blocks. A long meditative, pastoral episode is ornamented with wind and keyboard flurries that remind me of similar squalls in Benjamin Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes.” The motifs expand, building forcefully and logically into a steady rhythm with deft bits of controlled improvisation integrated into the weave.” – Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press
released March 29, 2020
Foreign One – commissioned by Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and is dedicated to composer Thelonious Monk and based on his composition “Four in One.”
eternal interlude – commissioned by Gotham Wind Symphony and Sigi Feigl.
Guarana – commissioned by University of Northern Colorado Jazz Ensemble.
The Cloud – commissioned by Bamberg Symphony Choir and Big Band.
Perseverance – commissioned by Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos.
JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE:
Ben Kono flute, sop/alto sax, whistling (4)
Jeremy Viner clarinet/tenor sax
Tony Malaby ten/sop sax
Dan Willis ten/sop sax, flute, Eh., whistling (4)
Bohdan Hilash cl., bass/contra-alt cl., whistling (4)
Ellery Eskelin tenor saxophone (5, 6)
Rob Hudson trombone, whistling (4)
Mike Christianson trombone, whistling (4)
Jacob Garchik trombone, thn. (2), whistling (4)
Alan Ferber trombone
Tony Kadleck trumpet, flugelhorn
Jon Owens trumpet, flugelhorn, whistling (4)
Dave Ballou trumpet, flugelhorn
Laurie Frink trumpet, flugelhorn
Kermit Driscoll acoustic/electric bass
Gary Versace piano, organ, keyboard
Matt Moran mallet percussion (1, 3, 4)
John Ferrari mallet percussion (2, 5, 6)
John Hollenbeck drums, comp., whistling (4)
Theo Bleckmann voice, whistling (4)
JC Sanford conductor
Produced by John Hollenbeck
Recorded by James Farber at Avatar Studio C on 8-9 March 2009
Assistant engineers: Aki Nishimura and Fernando Lodeiro
Edited and Mixed by Brian Montgomery
Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering
eternal interlude is dedicated to: Bernie Shifrin, a very important teacher to many, including myself and his favorite student Tony Kadleck; Bob Fiori, my uncle; the 13 victims of the shooting at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY (my hometown); and Gerald Hollenbeck, my beloved father, who all passed away during the production of this recording. With Love, John
Award-winning composer/ percussionist John Hollenbeck's entire 20-year catalogue is being re-released digitally here through Flexatonic Records, a U.S. non-profit entity that was formed for his activities.
supported by 6 fans who also own “Eternal Interlude”
This is a album I've gone back to several times. Matt lets his group play, and play they do. All of these pieces fell like full-group efforts, not written by a bassist to feature bass. Some songs feel driven, some searching, some making statements. Outstanding. Kenneth Pyron
supported by 6 fans who also own “Eternal Interlude”
An orchestra in which all instruments are serving a journey into faraway places, between jazz, classic and impressionism, with beautiful arrangements. A sweet invitation for a peaceful escape from these dark times. Highly recommended ! mili1