John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble: A Blessing (OmniTone 15209)
World debut recording! John Hollenbeck's eighteen-piece band redefines improvised music for large ensemble by taking big band sound, energy, and force, and using it in a way that doesn't sound dated or generic to create personal, non-genre specific music.
In striking compositions for large ensemble, Hollenbeck, who studied with innovative arrangers Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely and who draws compositional influences from Gyorgy Ligetí, Peter Garland, Brian Eno, and John Adams, reinvents "jazz big band" using novel instrumentation, sound, styles, rhythms, and material that ranges from funk, free, and straight-ahead jazz to minimalist music, African rhythms, and art song.
Featuring the incredible four-octave voice of Theo Bleckmann, used both non-verbally (as an ensemble instrument) and verbally on breathtaking settings of "An Irish Blessing" and a poem by Hazrat Inayat Khan, Hollenbeck uses other out-of-the-ordinary timbres — including "bowed vibes," English horns — admist extended melodies and overlaid rhythmic textures — to color and illuminate the stimulating music on A Blessing.Musicians
Ben Kono, flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
Chris Speed, clarinet
Tom Christensen, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, English horn
Dan Willis, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, English horn
Alan Won, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
Rob Hudson, Kurtis Pivert, Jacob Garchik, trombone
Alan Ferber, bass trombone
Jon Owens, Tony Kadleck, Dave Ballou, Laurie Frink, trumpet
Kermit Driscoll, bass
John Hollenbeck, drums, percussion
Gary Versace, piano
Matt Moran, mallets
Theo Bleckmann, voice
JC Sanford, conductor
All compositions by John Hollenbeck, 2005 Grand Blvd Music (ASCAP/GEMA).
Mixed and recorded at Brooklyn Recording, Brooklyn, NY, on 27-28 August 2003
Mastered by Gene Paul at DB Blue, New York
Producer: John Hollenbeck