John Hollenbeck is one of the rare artists who have mastered the tradition of big band composition while crossing aesthetic borderlines and speaking directly to the time we live in today. eternal interlude, the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated “A Blessing” and the second CD by John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, is an audacious example of the power of big band jazz to express emotions well beyond swing-era clichés.
Hollenbeck’s music is a daring mix of pure, heart-on-sleeve lyricism and robust rhythmic propulsion, and eternal interlude is earning acclaim for its rich, panoramic orchestral textures as well as its members’ powerful individual voices. As Nate Chinen said in the New York Times: “The drummer and composer John Hollenbeck inhabits a world of gleaming modernity, and “Eternal Interlude” (Sunnyside), the second album featuring his Large Ensemble, reflects both the clarity and brightness of his vision.”
Hollenbeck’s twenty-piece ensemble consists of top New York musicians, like regular Hollenbeck bandmates Matt Moran (Claudia Quintet), Gary Versace (Refuge Trio) and Theo Bleckmann (Refuge Trio). Other featured players include saxophonists Tony Malaby and Ellery Eskelin, trombonist Jacob Garchik and bassist Kermit Driscoll. Unlike most contemporary big bands, this is no random agglomeration of freelancers - the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble is an actual band. Practically all of the musicians appeared on “A Blessing,” and continue to perform with the Ensemble in concert.
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