Posts Tagged ‘John Hollenbeck’

Fully Altered’s Forthcoming 2015 Summer and Fall Release Schedule

Friday, July 24th, 2015

We are excited to share our schedule for the Summer/Fall of 2015. You may click the album covers to visit the artist websites or find more information. You can also visit our website for photos, links, album covers and the like.

Stream tracks from the following records on our Soundcloud!

Late Summer Releases
August 2015

jpegLouie Belogenis’ Blue Buddha – Blue Buddha (Tzadik) – Tenor saxophonist Louie Belogenis plays with a luminous open heart, and a tone reminiscent of Albert Ayler. Cutting his teeth with masters such as Rashied Ali, Sunny Murray and Borah Bergman he has recorded several CDs under his own name, and now presents his most unique and adventurous group to date. Featuring an all-star ensemble of three of the most exciting musicians working today–Dave Douglas,Bill Laswell and Tyshawn Sorey –this brilliant group performs as if part of a sacred ceremony, seamlessly weaving together diverse traditions. Uncompromising improvisational music that speaks to the spiritual. Out August 21. 

jpeg-1Painting – Gravity EP (Self-Released) – A production duo of keyboardist Emanuel Ruffler who has worked with Brazilian Girls, Meshell N’degeocello and others on the groove/Nublu scene and jazz drummer cum hip-hop emcee Kassa Overall made a very cool record that sounds like a live DJ mix but is completely made acoustically. Out August 28. 

jpeg-2Waiting For The Angel – Music with Words By David Hajdu (Miranda Music) – After years of writing about songs in acclaimed books and essays, David Hajdu has taken up writing them. Over the past five years, Hajdu has been working with several esteemed composers of jazz, pop and theater music: the pianists Fred Hersch & Renee Rosnes, the alternative-folk singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, and the veteran Broadway composer Michael (Mickey) Leonard. The result is Waiting for the Angel, a collection of quirkily artful songs that defy easy categorization. Out August 28th. 

Fall Releases:
September 2015

jpeg-4Mike Reed’s People, Places and Things – A New Kind of Dance (482 Music) – The formidable Chicago drummer and composer Mike Reed has been a catalyst and architect for new music in Chicago since the early 2000s. Still freshly anointed as chairperson for the Chicago Jazz Festival and founder of the performing arts venue Constellation, Reed takes time to offer the sixth release by his long running quartet, People Places & Things. By combining Reed’s penchant for playful melodies and a love of deep swing, People Places & Things steps forward, while firmly rooted in Chicago’s jazz lineage.  Additionally, guest pianist Matthew Shipp and guest trumpeter Marquis Hill offer plenty of space to keep the quartet (Greg Ward, alto sax; Tim Haldeman, tenor sax; Jason Roebke, bass) on their toes. Out September 25th.

October 2015

jpeg-5Miho Hazama & m_unit (Sunnyside) – Oct 2 – Originally from Japan, New York-based jazz composer Miho Hazama is a brilliant, award-winning bandleader, who just five years ago arrived in New York City and has since begun to establish herself as a force to be reckoned with. With her second Sunnyside Records release, she further makes her case as an important emerging voice in the large ensemble arena. Her jazz chamber orchestra “m_unit” draws on myriad musical sources, arriving at a highly distinctive and original sound. Out October 2nd.

jpeg-6Dave Douglas Quintet Brazen Heart (Greenleaf) – Dave’s longstanding quintet, one of the best bands working in jazz today, featuring Jon Irabagon (saxophones), Matt Mitchell (piano), Linda Oh (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums). Brazen Heart is a heart-felt remembrance of Douglas’ brother, featuring a batch of great new original compositions, as well as two spirituals, “Deep River” and “There Is A Balm In Gilead”. This new material grew out of the band’s extensive travels around the United State and Europe in Douglas’ 50th birthday year. Out October 2nd.

jpeg-7Erik Friedlander Oscalypso(Skipstone) – Erik Friedlander has long been recognized as a pioneer of the cello in jazz, improvised and chamber musics. For his latest project, Oscalypso, Friedlander pays tribute to the work of his idol and jazz-cello pioneer Oscar Pettiford, with his all-star band of saxophonist Michael Blake, bassist Trevor Dunn, and drummer Michael SarinOut October 9th.






Paul HemmingsBlues and the Abstract Uke (Leading Tone Records)
A former guitarist, Paul Hemmings has mastered the uncommon and highly compelling art of jazz ukulele. On The Blues and the Abstract Uke, Hemmings reveals a richness of harmony, a bell-like tone and a deep, unforced sense of swing that many will not expect from the small four-stringed instrument. In Hemmings’ hands, and with the unfaltering musical support of bassist Gaku Takanashi and drummer Rudy Royston, and guests Greg Tardy and Curtis Fowlkes the ukulele bursts forth in the mix, full of warmth, expression and technical depth. Out October 9th.

jpeg-8Mike Sopko Sopko, Laswell, Pridgen(Self-Released) – Guitarist Mike Sopko, a fixture in the Bay Area who’s just returned to his native Cleveland presents a ferocious studio document which captures his rapport with drummer Thomas Pridgen (formerly of The Mars Volta) and bassist Bill Laswell, a musical hero to many including Sopko himself. Balancing free improvisation, collective composition and inventive post-production, the trio encounter proves to be as uninhibited and rhythmically charged as it is focused and refined. Out October 16th.

jpeg-9Bill MacKay’s Darts And ArrowsAltamira (ears&eyes records) – Chicago-based guitarist Bill MacKay helms the group Darts & Arrows, one of the most promising bands on Chicago’s experimental rock and new music scene. The quartet consists of Bill MacKay on guitar, Quin Kirchner on drums, Kyle Hernandez on bass, and Ben Boye on keys. Darts & Arrows’ album guests some of Chicago’s most in-demand musicians: alto-saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, AACM violist Renee Baker and drummer Frank Rosaly. Altamira is the quartet’s most fully realized effort, retaining the edgy vitality of their improvised work while painting beautifully textured sonic pictures on a series of through-composed pieces. Out October 16th.

jpeg-10Jacob GarchikYe Olde (Self-Released) – Trombonist Jacob Garchik embarks upon a bold conceptual adventure through a Brooklyn that never was, replete with imagined castles and gargoyles coming alive. He envisions his sidemen as a band of heroes, navigating this fictional universe he’s created. Ye Olde features guitarists Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, andJonathan Goldberger along with drummerVinnie Sperrazza and the leader on trombone. Out October 23rd.

jpeg-11Scott JeppesenWonders (Self-Released)- In musical explorations of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, saxophonist and composer Scott Jeppesenreleases Wonders, an adventurous set of original works conjuring imagery of grandeur. No less grand is the supporting cast featuring guitarist Larry Koonse, pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Dave Robaire, drummerDan Schnelle, and saxophonist/producerBob Sheppard. Out October 23rd.

jpeg-12Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed TrioArtifacts (482 Music) – After 15 years of music collaborations in a variety of ensemble contexts, the all-star trio of Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid and Mike Reedhave come together to celebrate their long-term relationship and their common cultural and aesthetic threads. All are members of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and served on the organization’s executive board from 2009 to 2011 (holding the positions of Chairperson, Treasurer and Vice Chairperson, respectively). It’s more than appropriate that the trio would also celebrate some of the music composed by AACM members over the past 50 years: Its forthcoming record dips into the fathomless well of the AACM’s musical history, and furthers the organization’s motto of “Ancient to the Future.”Out October 30th.

November 2015

jpeg-3Robin Eubanks’ Mass Line Big Band(ArtistShare)- Trombonist Robin Eubanks, known for his longstanding place in the bands of Dave Holland and more recently the SF Jazz Collective, takes the leap into big band writing and arranging. In 2013, Eubanks received research status from the Oberlin College Conservatory, where he has taught for 17 years, allowing him to work toward adapting his past compositions for these groups plus new and old originals for a full big band. The band features the late legend Lew Soloff on trumpet, plus Duane Eubanks and Alex Sipiagin, altoist Antonio Hart(also an alumnus of Holland and SF Jazz), trombonists Jason Jackson and Douglas Purviance, drummer Nate Smith, bassist Boris Kozlov and newcomer Glenn Zaleski on piano. Out November 6th.

jpeg-4Adegoke Steve Colson – Tones For (Silver Sphinx Records)
Veteran AACM pianist Adegoke Steve Colson releases his first solo piano record (2 CDs) of his 40 year career, which began in Chicago at Northwestern University as a classical pianist and has continued for the last three decades in the New York area as an guest lecturer and Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University. Over the last 30+ years, he has collaborated extensively with his wife, Iqua Colson, saxophonist David Murray, drummer Andrew Cyrille, the late poet Amiri Baraka and countless others. One of the second wave of AACM musicians, his original Colson Unity Troupe included bassist Reggie Willis, percussionist Dushun Mosley, multireedist Wallace McMillan and wife Iqua on vocals. Out November 19th.

Already Released Summer Albums

jpeg-5Chris Dingman – The Subliminal And The Sublime (Inner Arts Initiative)  w/ Chris Dingman (vibraphone), Loren Stillman (alto saxophone), Fabian Almazan (piano), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Linda Oh, Justin Brown (drums) – Following up on his acclaimed debut Waking Dreams, imaginative vibraphonist Chris Dingman releases his new suite, The Subliminal And The Sublime, inspired by transcendental experiences that Dingman had in the American West. This will be the first release on his new imprint, Inner Arts Initiative.
Out June 16th.

jpeg-6Zubatto Syndicate 2Batto! (self-released) – Futuristic big band Zubatto Syndicate led by Seattle-based guitarist and composer Andrew Boscardin returns to the studio to record its second album, fusing together jazz, rock, hip-hop and more, with covers of Beyonce & Metallica. Out June 9 2015 

jpeg-7Dave Douglas & High Risk (Greenleaf Music) – featuring Dave Douglas (trumpet), Shigeto (electronics),Jonathan Maron (bass), Mark Guiliana(drums) – Extending his experimentation with electronics from the mid-aughts, trumpeter and conceptualist Dave Douglas releases High Risk,which pairs his precocious talents alongside those of an equally virtuosic talent, electronic musician Shigeto. The quartet is rounded out by two other expansive musical minds: drummer Mark Guiliana and bassist Jonathan Maron. Out June 23, 2015 

jpeg-8John Hollenbeck & Frankfurt Radio Bigband Songs We Like A Lot(Sunnyside Records) – featuring Theo Bleckmann & Kate McGarry (vocals); Uri Caine (piano/keyboards), John Hollenbeck (mallet percussion). Following up on his record Songs I Like A Lot, Hollenbeck releases his second record with The Frankfurt Radio Bigband, Songs We Like A Lot: a series of covers of Cyndi Lauper, Daft Punk, Burt Bacharach & More. June 23rd, 2015 

jpeg-9The Xanadu Master Edition Series (Elemental Music)- Elemental Music is set to re-issue 25 classic records all produced by the legendary producer Don Schlliten. The first six of these albums, which will be released on June 30th, are by Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, Al Cohn, Sam Most, Xanadu All-Stars, and Albert Heath. June 30th, 2015 (The series continues October 30 with new reissues by Joe Farrell, Kenny Barron, Dolo Coker, Teddy Edwards, Ronnie Cuber, Dexter Gordon & Al Cohn, Kenny Drew, Charles McPherson & More).

Our First Jazz Fiction Project!

Doubleday is proud to present THE JAZZ PALACE from critically acclaimed novelist Mary Morris. Written over two decades, Morris has crafted a true tour-de-force, the most important novel of her career.

jpeg-10It’s a tale of family, race, gangsters, disaster, love, betrayal, and, of course, jazz. In the midst of boomtown Chicago, two Jewish families have suffered terrible blows. The Lehrmans, who run a small hat factory, lost their beloved son Harold in a blizzard. The Chimbrovas, who run a saloon, lost three of their boys on the SS Eastland when it sank in 1915. Each family holds out hope that one of their remaining children will rise to carry on the family business. But Benny Lehrman has no interest in making hats. His true passion is piano – especially jazz.

At night he sneaks down to the South Side, slipping into predominantly black clubs to hear jazz groups play. One of them, the trumpeter, a black man named Napoleon, becomes Benny’s close friend and musical collaborator, and their adventures together take Benny far from the life he knew as a delivery boy. Pearl Chimbrova recognizes their talent and invites them to start playing at her family’s saloon – dubbed The Jazz Palace. But Napoleon’s main gig is at a mob establishment, which doesn’t take too kindly to freelancing. And as the roaring ’20s come to a close and the bubble of prosperity collapses, Benny, Napoleon, and Pearl must all make hard choices between financial survival and the music they love.

August and September Gig Calendar

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

July Shows Chronologically: (Band – Venue – Location)

July 30

Julian Lage – Music Hall of Williamsburg // Opening for Blake Mills – Brooklyn, NY – 9 PM show; Julian Lage – solo guitar


August Shows Chronologically: (Band – Venue – Location)

Aug. 3

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – New York, NY – 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM; Mike Rodriguez – trumpet; Camila Meza – vocals; Jorge Roeder – bass; Eric Doob – drums

Aug. 4

Franklin Kiermyer Quartet – Korzo – Brooklyn, NY – 9:00 PM; Franklin Kiermyer – drums; Lawrence Clark – tenor sax, Davis Whitfield – piano, Nimrod Speaks – bass

Aug. 7-9

Ches Smith We All Break Residency – IBeam – Brooklyn, NY – 8:30 PM; Ches Smith – drums, percussion; Matt Mitchell – piano; Daniel Brevil & Markus Schwartz, Traditional Haitian percussion

Aug. 10

Musette Explosion The Chautauqua Institute – Chautauqua, NY; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Aug. 11

Musette Explosion – The Bop Shop – Rochester, NY; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Ches Smith We All Break Residency – Korzo – Brooklyn, NY – 10:30 PM; Ches Smith – drums, percussion; Matt Mitchell – piano; Daniel Brevil & Markus Schwartz, Traditional Haitian percussion

Aug. 13

Painting Shapeshifter Lab – New York, NY – Set at 8:15 PM – Gravity EP pre-release Show; Emanuel Ruffler – piano; Kassa Overall – drums/electronics

Aug. 14-15

Paul Hemmings – Gold Pan Ukulele Festival – Auburn, CA

Aug. 23

Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret – Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Tompkins Square Park – Sometime between 3:00–7:00 PM – New York, NY w/ Ron Miles – trumpet; Liberty Ellman – guitar; Stomu Takeishi – acoustic bass guitar; Tyshawn Sorey – drums

Aug. 27

Musette Explosion – The Towers –  Narragansett, RI; Will Holshouser – accordion; Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo; Marcus Rojas – tuba


Aug. 28

Chris Dingman Subliminal Trio –  Shapeshifter Lab – Brooklyn, NY; Chris Dingman – vibraphone; Fabian Almazan – piano/electronics; Ryan Ferreira – guitar

Aug. 30

Robin Eubanks Mass Line Big Band – Birdland – New York, NY – feat. Antonio Hart, Alex Cummings, Marcus Strickland, Bobby LaVell, Lauren Sevian – saxophones; Alex Sipiagin, Duane Eubanks, Aaron Janik – trumpets; Jason Jackson, James Burton, Jennifer Wharton, Douglas Purviance, Robin Eubanks – trombones; Glenn Zaleski – piano; Mike King – organ; Boris Kozlov, double bass/electric bass; Nate Smith, drums; David Silliman, percussion


September Shows Chronologically:

Sept. 2

David Hajdu – Rockwood Stage 2 – New York, NY;  Jo Lawry, Karen Oberlin, Michael Winther – rotating vocals; Fred Hersch, Renee Rosnes, Tedd Firth, David Hajdu – rotating pianists;  Sean Smith, drums; Carl Allen – drums; Steve Wilson, saxophones

Lucia & Hank Roberts – Living Room Brooklyn – Brooklyn, NYC; Lucia Roberts – guitar/vocals, Hank Roberts – cello

Sept. 4

John Hollenbeck Chicago Jazz Fest, Arrangement for Billy Strayhorn Centennial – Chicago, IL

Sept. 5

John Hollenbeck – Chicago Jazz Fest, Claudia Quintet +1 with Theo Bleckmann and Very Special Guest – Chicago, IL

Sept. 8

David Ullmann Sextet – Cornelia Street Cafe – New York, NY – 9:00 PM; w/ David Ullmann – guitar; Karel Ruzicka – saxophones; Chris Dingman, vibraphone; Gary Wang, double bass; Vinnie Sperrazza, drums

Sept. 12

Musette Explosion Int’l Accordion Festival – San Antonio, TX; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Sept. 13

Erik Friedlander & Mike Nicholas – The Stone / John Zorn’s Bagatelles – 3:00 PM; Erik Friedlander, Mike Nicholas – cellos

Sept. 18

Vijay Iyer – North Shore Center for The Performing Arts – Skokie, IL; Vijay Iyer – piano; Stephan Crump – double bass, Marcus Gilmore – drums

Musette Explosion Monterey Jazz Festival – Monterey, CA; Will Holshouser – accordion; Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo; Marcus Rojas – tuba

Sept. 19

Musette Explosion – Red Poppy Art House – San Francisco, CA; Will Holshouser – accordion; Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo; Marcus Rojas – tuba

Sept. 20

Musette Explosion – Arcata Playhouse – Arcata, CA; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Sept. 23

Musette Explosion – Siskiyou Music Project – Ashland, OR; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Sept. 24

Musette Explosion Djangofest Northwest – Whidbey Island Bay, WA; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Festival of New Trumpet Music Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 – NYC; Stephanie Richards and CJ Camereri – curators

Sept. 25

Musette Explosion – The Old Church – Portland, OR; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Festival of New Trumpet MusicThe Dimenna Center for Classical Music – New York, NY; Dave Douglas- Curator, Thomas Bergeron Ensemble plays Messiaen featuring Becca Stevens

Sept. 26

Musette Explosion – Kay Meek Center – Vancouver, BC; Will Holshouser – accordion, Matt Munisteri – guitar/banjo, Marcus Rojas – tuba

Festival of New Trumpet Music The Jazz Gallery – New York, NY – 8:30 PM – Marquis Hill – Curator; Phillip Dizack, Keyon Harrold, Billy Buss, Josh Evans, Ingrid Jensen – Trumpet; Theo Hill – piano, Eric Wheeler – bass, Obed Calvaire – drums, Kendall Moore – Commissioned Composer

Sept. 27

Festival of New Trumpet Music Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Brooklyn, NY – 12:00 PM – Blast of Brass – children from all over NYC

Festival of New Trumpet MusicDowntown Music Gallery – New York, NY Aaron Shragge – Curator; Solo Trumpet Sets: Chad McCullough (7:00 PM), John Blevins (8:00 PM), Leo Hardman-Hill (9:00 PM)

Festival of New Trumpet Music – The Blue Note / Brunch – New York, NY;  The Jonathan Powell Latin Jazz Sextet
2 sets @ 11:30AM and 1:30 PM;
 Benje Daneman – Curator; Jonathan Powell – trumpet & flugelhorn; Louis Fouché – alto sax; Manuel Valera – piano and keys; Ricky Rodriguez – bass; Henry Cole – drums; TBA – percussion

Sept. 28

Festival of New Trumpet Music The New School: Jazz Performance Space, 4th Floor – New York, NYMaster Class at New School with Eddie Henderson

Festival of New Trumpet Music – Downtown Music Gallery  – New York, NYNate Wooley – Curator, Solo Trumpet Sets: Jaimie Branch (7:00 PM), Joe Moffett (8:00 PM), Brandon Lewis (9:00 PM), trumpets

Sept. 29

Festival of New Trumpet Music The New School: Hirshorn Suite, 2nd Floor – New York, NYEddie Henderson Panel

Festival of New Trumpet Music The New School: Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 2nd Floor – New York, NYEddie Henderson Concert

2015 Fully Altered Media APAP & Winter Jazz Fest Showcase Information

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

2015 Fully Altered Client APAP Showcases


Fully Altered Media Client Showcase, Winter JazzFest

Friday, Jan 9th: Linda Oh’s Sun Pictures at SubCulture – 45 Bleccker St, 7:15 PM –
Linda Oh – Bass, Ben Wendel – saxophone, Matt Stevens – guitar, Rudy Royston – drumsFriday, Jan 9th: DaveDouglas Quintet at Judson Church

 – 55 Washington Sq Park South, 9:15 PM – Dave Douglas- trumpet, Troy Roberts – tenor saxophone, Matt Mitchell – piano, Linda Oh – bass, Rudy Royston – drums

Friday, Jan 9th: Kris Davis’ Infrasound at SubCulture – 45 Bleecker St, 11:00 PM – Kris Davis – Piano, Gary Vercase – organ, Nate Radley – guitar, Ches Smith – drums, Andrew Bishop, Ben Goldberg, Joachim Badenhorst and Oscar Noriega – bass clarinets

Friday, Jan 9: Anthony Pirog Trio at Carroll Place – 157 Bleecker St, 12:45 AM
(w/ Michael Formanek- Bass, Ches Smith – Drums)

Saturday, Jan 10th: The Cellar & Point at The Player’s Theater – 115 MacDougal St, 1:15 AM-
(w/ Joe Bergen – vibraphone, Christopher Otto -violin, Kevin McFarland – cello, Terrence McManus – electric guitar, Christopher Botta – acoustic guitar and banjo, Greg Chudzik – bass, Joseph Branciforte – drums
(Also performing , 1/10 at 1 PM, Apple Store, SoHo as part of iTunes Live:
103 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012)

Saturday, Jan 10th: Ryan Keberle & Catharsis at SubCulture – 45 Bleecker St, 6:00 PM-
Ryan Keberle – trombone, Mike Rodriguez – trumpet, Jorge Roeder – bass, Kenny Wolleson – drums, Camila Meza – voice

Saturday, Jan 10th: Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret at Zinc Bar – 82 W 3rd St, 6:30 PM-
Myra Melford – piano, Liberty Ellman – guitar, Stomu Takeishi – bass, Tyshawn Sorey – drums, Ben Goldberg – bass clarinet

Saturday, Jan 10th: Theo Bleckmann at Judson Church – 55 Washington Sq Park South, 6:45 PM
Theo Bleckmann – voice, composition, Gary Vercase – piano, Chris Tordini – bass, John Hollenbeck- drums, percussion, w/ special guest Ambrose Akinmusire

Also Appearing at WJF:
Aaron Parks’ Little/Big (Friday, 1/9, 1:30 AM at SubCulture)
Uri Caine/Han Bennink (Friday, 1/9, 12:15 AM at SubCulture)
John Raymond Roots Trio (Saturday, 1/9, 1:30 AM at SubCulture)

Also note:
Thursday Jan. 8, 6-10 PM
Ben Wendel Quartet, Jamie Baum & Short Stories, Michael Blake’s Tiddy Boom, Joel Harrison 4
46 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-4770 $10, free with APAP badge Or JazzConnect Registration

Jan 15-18, 2015 – Jazz Standard
Aaron Goldberg Trio at Jazz Standard – CD Release for “The Now” (Sunnyside Records)
(w/ Eric Harland – drums, Reuben Rogers- bass) – 116 E 27th St. New York, NY 10016

Multi-Instrumentalist-Composer Anna Webber Returns with “Simple,” A Trio Featuring John Hollenbeck & Matt Mitchell

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Composer, Saxophonist, Flutist
Anna Webber’s Second Album, Simple,
Featuring John Hollenbeck (drums) & Matt Mitchell (piano)

To Be Released Sept 16, 2014 on Skirl Records

Music Written In Solitude During Summer 2013,
On Bowen Island Off Coast of British Columbia

Photo Credit: Jonno Rattman

“Intricately plotted music…” – New York Times

“Crystalline…” – NPR 

“…an album given to explorations of the ground between reeds and percussion instruments.” – Down Beat

New York-based composer, saxophonist and flutist Anna Webber’s new releaseSimple, featuring Matt Mitchell on piano and John Hollenbeck on drums, will be released on Chris Speed’s Skirl Records on September 16th, 2014Simplewas written over the summer of 2013 on Bowen Island, a rural spot off the coast of British Columbia.

“When one writes for trio, everything’s exposed. I titled it Simple not because the music isn’t difficult to play but because John and Matt are musicians with limitless ability and technique who play with ease and profound use of space. It perfectly suits the character of the compositions,” said Webber.



The Claudia Quintet Fall US Tour Dates For ‘September’ on Cuneiform Records

Monday, August 19th, 2013

The Claudia Quintet Releases September,
It’s Seventh Album
h Early October U.S. Tour 

East Coast & West Coast Dates

Oct 2 Bucknell University – Lewisburg, PA
Oct 3 Le Poisson Rouge – NYC, NY
Oct 4 Firehouse 12 – New Haven, CT
Oct 5 Lewis & Clark College – Portland, OR
Oct 6 Cornish College – Seattle, WA
Oct 7 Willamette University – Salem, OR
Oct 8 Arcata Playhouse – Arcata, CA
Oct 9 Bows & Arrows – Sacramento, CA
Oct 10 Kuumbwaa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 11 Red Cat (Angel City Jazz Fest) –  Los Angeles, CA

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 11.00.39 AMLed by Acclaimed Drummer-Composer John Hollenbeck,The Group Offers Brilliant New Pieces Written During & Inspired By The Month of September

Drummer-percussionist and three-time Grammy nominee John Hollenbeck, one of the most distinctive and respected composers in jazz and new music, has created an estimable body of work since the late ’90s with his Claudia Quintet. Hailed by Nate Chinen of the New York Timesfor their “clockwork intricacy and crisp premeditation … [striking an] accord between the factions of progressive jazz, classical Minimalism and low-glare experimental rock,” the Claudia Quintet tackles Hollenbeck’s highly demanding works with a wry improvising spirit and a backbone of surging, mesmerizing rhythm.

Following up earlier celebrated releases including What Is The Beautiful?,Royal Toast, FOR, Semi-Formal, and I, Claudia the Claudia Quintet returns with September. In the lineup are two newer players: accordionist Red Wierenga, like Hollenbeck an alum of the Eastman School of Music; and (on four tracks) bassist Chris Tordini, a frequent sub for Claudia’s original bassist Drew Gress. Hugely in-demand as a sideman and an inspired bandleader in his own right, Gress appears on six of the 10 tracks that make up September.


JOHN HOLLENBECK Releases New Large Ensemble CD SONGS I LIKE A LOT (Sunnyside) January 29, 2013

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

John Hollenbeck didn’t seek out popular music when he was kid, but it was always there, and it became an undeniable part of him. Songs I Like A Lot is an album on which the adventurous and internationally renowned composer, esteemed for his ability to strike upon new sounds, turns instead toward familiar forms, and weaves other peoples’ songs into his own unique tapestry.

Growing up in Binghamton, New York, Hollenbeck frequently heard “Wichita Lineman,” asong originally by pop writer Jimmy Webb, as sung by one of his father’s favorite pop balladeers Glen Campbell. Although he was more interested in music that sounded new to him, Webb’s songwriting left an indelible impression. For Songs I Like A Lot,Hollenbeck scoured his memory in search of songs that had similarly become inextricable from his musical outlook. He compiled a big list, and whittled it down with help from vocalists Theo Bleckmannand Kate McGarry, who are featured on the album, along with pianist Gary Versace.


John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet +1 Performs West Coast Debuts of Songs From What Is The Beautiful?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Project Commissioned by the University of Rochester’s
Rare Books and Special Collections Department
for the 100th Birthday Celebration of Poet / Visual Artist Kenneth Patchen


The Claudia Quintet +1
*with special guest Theo Bleckman

February 27 – Yoshi’s, San Francisco, CA (link)
February 28 – Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA (link)
February 29 – Cal State Fullerton, CA (link)
March 1 – Cal State Fullerton, CA (link) *
March 2 – 560 Music Center, St. Louis, MO (link)

* Cal State Fullerton Jazz Ensembles with John Hollenbeck & Theo Bleckmann


Theo Bleckmann Releases ‘Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush’

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Out March 13 via Winter & Winter –

Featuring HENRY HEY (piano, minimoog synthesizer, fender rhodes piano, prepared harpsichord, voice), SKÚLI SVERRISON (electric bass, voice), CALEB BURHANS (electric five string violin, electric guitar, voice), JOHN HOLLENBECK (drums, percussion, crotales, voice)

After tackling American maverick composer Charles Ives and receiving a Grammy nomination for it, vocalist Theo Bleckmann now takes on the mysterious songbook of British pop recluse Kate Bush. This project goes beyond merely re-creating Kate’s Bush music, taking it into other realms of sound and interpretation. Bush’s œuvre is indeed mysterious and often enigmatic in nature: unusual song forms, oracular lyrics amd unpredictable meter- and harmony-changes are an anomaly in pop music, making it the perfect vehicle for Bleckmann’s distinctive, interpretive spirit and interest in the unusual. Even though Bush still remains a household name, it is fair to say that her music is not your usual run-of the mill boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl fare. Her use of British and Irish myths, her references to psychology, literature and film, her meticulously multi-layered productions and her unusually high voice make her idiosyncratic body of work challenging for other artists to interpret.


Congratulations to Grammy Nominees Miguel Zenón and John Hollenbeck/Orchestre National de Jazz!

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

33. Best viagra Jazz Ensemble Album
Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

57. Best Instrumental Composition
“Falling Men” from Shut Up And Dance (Bee Music)

For all press inquiries on Miguel Zenón and John Hollenbeck,
please contact us here at Fully Altered Media

JazzTimes: John Hollenbeck’s Natural Impulses

Monday, November 21st, 2011

John Hollenbeck’s Natural Impulses

The drummer-composer on the importance of being himself


John Hollenbeck and his Large Ensemble
By Ken Franckling

John Hollenbeck
By Ken Franckling


John Murph

On this early September afternoon, John Hollenbeck is only a day away from visiting one of his favorite getaways, the Blue Mountain Center. Located in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, the lodge offers established musicians, writers and visual artists the perfect bucolic setting for a working retreat. This will be Hollenbeck’s fourth visit since 2001. In addition to preparing for an October concert with Kenny Wheeler at Jazz Standard in Manhattan, Hollenbeck hopes to concentrate on compositions for string quartet and drums. “It’s hard to carve out the time and really keep it carved,” he says by phone, from his hometown of Binghamton, N.Y.

For a mostly self-managing drummer, composer and bandleader like the 43-year-old Hollenbeck, who takes care of bookings as well as travel and lodging arrangements and payment for up to 18 musicians, “carving out time” to write is a rare luxury. Somehow, though, he makes it all work with synchronized splendor. And while his recording output has been steadily thrilling over the past decade, 2011 could be easily viewed as a banner year for the perennially award-winning artist. His Grammy-nominated Large Ensemble nailed its first international tour and received critical acclaim for performances at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival in early August and at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge in late April. That latter bill was shared with the 10-piece French ensemble Orchestre National de Jazz, which performed material from its riveting disc Shut Up and Dance (Bee Jazz), composed of commissioned music written by Hollenbeck. Now Hollenbeck will have to negotiate time and focus to support What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform), the gripping new project from his Claudia Quintet.

As with the Claudia Quintet’s five previous discs, What Is the Beautiful? retains Hollenbeck’s compositional trademarks while homing in on a unique concept or aesthetic. In the case of the new disc, that theme is the poetry of Kenneth Patchen. The University of Rochester is celebrating the late writer and visual artist’s centennial this year, with an exhibition that will showcase his poems and drawings as well as the artwork he did for jazz LPs.

Richard Peek, the director of rare books and special collections at the university’s libraries, was in charge of the Patchen exhibition and is a longtime fan of Hollenbeck’s music. Peek’s initial idea was to have Hollenbeck record music for a small batch of CDs to accompany the exhibition. Last year, right before the Christmas holiday, Peek contacted the drummer, who decided to tackle the project as the new Claudia Quintet disc. (The album also includes three instrumental cuts, two of which were commissioned by the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.)

Prior to the Rochester commission, Hollenbeck admits his knowledge of Patchen was basic. He was aware of Patchen’s legacy as a forerunner of the Beat Generation and as an innovator of jazz poetry—he performed but never recorded with Mingus—but knew little about his specific works and biography. “He was never hip in his time,” Hollenbeck says. “I talked with a guy from the Poetry Foundation, and he said that no one is really talking about him, but there are people who are really into his work.” To prepare for the undertaking, Hollenbeck went to local bookstores to find Patchen’s work but came up empty handed. “You go into a huge Barnes & Noble, and they got all of these books,” he says. “Then you go into the poetry section, and it’s lame.”

Hollenbeck eventually found what he needed at the library, and sought pieces that spoke to him. The drummer was soon amazed at the stylistic and thematic breadth of the poet’s repertoire, which ranged from sentimental, amorous verse to sardonic social critique to whimsical parodies. For the disc, Hollenbeck aimed to capture Patchen’s complete oeuvre, starting off with 20 works grouped as love poems, satirical pieces and political critiques. To help realize his ambition, Hollenbeck extended the Claudia lineup, as he did on the ensemble’s previous disc, 2010’s Royal Toast, which added Gary Versace on piano. This time around, Philly-based Matt Mitchell filled the piano chair, and to help bring Patchen’s words to life, Hollenbeck recruited singer and longtime collaborator Theo Bleckmann and top-ranking jazz vocalist Kurt Elling.

Before Hollenbeck even began composing the music he knew he wanted Elling to be involved. The two first worked together on Fred Hersch’s 2005 disc, Leaves of Grass, a somewhat similar project on which Hersch investigated the poetry of Walt Whitman. Hollenbeck thought that Elling’s vast knowledge of Beat poetry and his pedigree in theology made him the ideal raconteur. Due to scheduling conflicts, however, Elling couldn’t record with the band, so Hollenbeck had him recite the work before any of the music had been completed. On compositions like the opening “Showtime/23rd Street Runs Into Heaven,” on which the Claudia band dances alongside Elling’s oration in precise unison, the singer had to rely on his own inventive devices to convey the poetry with an ensemble in mind. Those devices also include a variety of personas, like an old-school television voiceover artist (the lead-off track), a dyed-in-the-wool Chicagoan (“Job”) or a creaky, possibly drunk elder (“Opening the Window”).

Elling was of course already familiar with Patchen’s work, and in order to prepare for the recording, he revisited some of the poet’s spoken-word recordings, though more for reference than for strict instruction. “I definitely did my homework going into it,” Elling explains. “I can’t say that I wanted to copy exactly what he did, because in that case you can just play his stuff. But I wanted my work to be informed by that, and I wanted to make sure that I copped the vibe and the attitude as much as I could without making it some kind of caricature or imitation.” The singer said it was really a matter of making his performance “clear and emotionally available.”

Hollenbeck remains amazed at what Elling did with the verse. “He far, far exceeded what I thought he would do. He came in and knew the poems much better than I did at that moment,” he enthuses. “He knew the vibes of the poems.”

When asked about his admiration of Patchen’s work, Elling echoes many of Hollenbeck’s sentiments, making note of the poet’s sharp social critique but also his expertise with language. “What’s so interesting about Patchen is the way he presents his acerbic nature and his awakened intelligence to the crazy attitudes of the so-called civilized world,” Elling argues. “And at the same time, he’s so tender and romantic. What really touches me is that he was raking contemporary society right over the coals in these very subtly attuned but very precise, nice-like ways.”

Elling’s last assessment certainly applies to the brooding and brutal “The Bloodhounds.” Originally titled “Nice Day for a Lynching,” the cinematic composition begins with a somber duet between bassist Drew Gress and Chris Speed on clarinet. Soon Hollenbeck joins Gress in slowly building momentum as vibraphonist Matt Moran and accordionist Ted Reichman add another level of eerie suspense. This all gives way to Elling’s haunting reading about a black man being lynched as others laugh at his death. “I know that one of my hands is black, one white,” Elling intones. “I know that one part of me is being strangled, while another part horribly laughs.” By the end of the composition, you’re left with impressions of both hope and despair. “It’s a really dark poem but actually I found it really beautiful, too, because he’s trying to say that we’re all the same,” Hollenbeck argues. “One person may look different from the other, they might have a different gene, but basically we’re all the same. If you’re killing someone, you’re basically killing yourself.”

Elsewhere, Bleckmann’s ethereal vocals add new dimensions to Patchen’s text. The singer is particularly mesmerizing on “The Snow Is Deep on the Ground,” weaving melodic elegance over Mitchell’s evocative piano accompaniment. Bleckmann creates a similar sensation on “Do Me That Love,” he and Mitchell traversing the jaunty lines with unerring precision and emotional immediacy. On “Limpidity of Silences,” Bleckmann demonstrates great dynamic control, delivering the words in a transfixing whisper.

But it’s Mitchell who makes up the official “+1” in the quintet’s recent billing. Hollenbeck discovered the pianist two years ago during a residency at Philadelphia’s Painted Bride Art Center, where he spent two weeks and selected 12 Philly-based musicians to collaborate with. Mitchell was one of the dozen selected, and soon after, Hollenbeck learned that he and Mitchell shared an alma mater in the Eastman School of Music.

While the Claudia Quintet was performing in support of Royal Toast, Hollenbeck often had to look for a sub for the very busy Versace, and thought of Mitchell. “He’s just incredible,” says Hollenbeck. “He can read just about anything; he’s a fluid improviser. I gave him the hardest stuff that I have.”

Being the new, not quite full-fledged member of any ensemble is daunting, especially with a unit as established as the Claudia Quintet. Adding to the challenge, he had to find his way in music that originally didn’t have parts specified for piano. Nevertheless, Mitchell excelled, noting that some of the pressure was lifted simply by the good nature of the quintet members. And even though Hollenbeck tends to write very exacting parts, Mitchell says the bandleader let him be a “free agent.” “I would double some of the bass parts or some of Ted’s parts, or for some sections he would just leave it up to my discretion of what to play,” Mitchell says. “He’ll be very specific in terms of what he wants, but at the same time he does expect people to just throw things in at the appropriate moments.”

When it comes to composing, Hollenbeck channels Duke Ellington in that he doesn’t just pen anonymous charts; rather, each part has a specific musician in mind. Hollenbeck argues that he knows each band member’s likes and dislikes when it comes to chord changes and rhythms. “It helps to be on the road with them to really get to know what music they like,” Hollenbeck explains. “People can be surprising, and they also change. These days Chris Speed is really into Ben Webster. You might not guess that from some of the music he plays and how he plays.”

But Hollenbeck not only keeps his band members in mind when composing; even more artfully, he writes from the perspective of a listener. That probably explains why his music, despite all its intricate rhythm patterns, elaborate structures and sometimes far-reaching reference points, seldom comes off as forbidding or condescending to intelligent yet non-musician listeners.

For Hollenbeck, the key to that balance lies in the beat. “The most universal way some people can get into music is through rhythm and groove,” he says. “If your music has some sort of groove, almost anybody can get into it. Once they get into the music, if there are other things that have depth, they can stay there and listen to it a lot of times and dig it in different ways.”

And this duality exists for Hollenbeck’s musicians as much as for the audience. Many of his band members speak about having to think like a composer to play Hollenbeck’s music. “What I loved about John’s music from the get-go is that it’s seemingly very simple [yet] very odd—some things you wouldn’t dare put onto a page, because they would seem too simple,” says Bleckmann. “Then you play it and it’s incredibly beautiful and complex. John’s music has a lot of mystery in it.”

Moran elaborates, explaining that he experiences a little trepidation every time he receives a vibraphone part. “You can never tell from just looking at the part how it’s going to be played because it’s so contextual,” he says. “Sometimes the part would look very simple; then you go to play it, and the things that you have to play over would utterly confuse your sense of rhythm and time. Sometimes he’ll send a part and I’ll go, ‘Oh my God! How in the hell am I ever going to play this?’ And for some reason it becomes much easier than I’d expect.”

Reichman notes that no matter how long one might have performed in Hollenbeck’s ensembles, his music offers no patented rhythmic patterns or other clichés to fall back on. “You have to really stay on your toes to understand what each piece is doing,” the accordionist says. “There is no guarantee that each section will follow the previous one easily. That relates to John’s rhythmic virtuosity. As a drummer, he has a real expansive idea about how rhythms work, so you really have to focus to be on the same page.”

So much has been said about Hollenbeck’s brilliance as a composer that his identity as a drummer can be easily be overlooked. As with his composing, Hollenbeck stresses groove and accessibility in his own playing. “His drumming is unjustly ignored,” argues Gress. “There is no excess or showiness to his drumming—it’s just music, all the time. His cymbal work is great; he can just play quarter notes and sound great to me. I dig the way that he tunes his drums; I dig the way that it interfaces with my bass. John plays from the ears of the audience. He’s trying to participate with the music like an audience member.”

Born to Gerald and Elizabeth Hollenbeck, the drummer grew up the youngest of four in Binghamton, N.Y., and showed great admiration for his oldest brother, Pat, who also played drums. Hollenbeck credits his brother with putting him on the musical track, both as an instrumentalist and composer. “My brother gave me this idea that all musicians are composers, that it is part of the whole deal,” Hollenbeck says. “Later on I realized it was a good thing, but not true: A lot of musicians don’t compose. So he gave me the idea from the start—plus, I saw him doing that too!”

Hollenbeck’s small upstate New York town provided surprisingly fertile ground for a young aspiring musician. In addition to attending Al Hamme’s summer jazz workshops as a junior-high student at SUNY Binghamton University, his neighborhood on the west side of town nurtured an impressive amount of future jazz talent. The list of Hollenbeck’s childhood contemporaries includes trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Tony Kadleck, guitarist Tom Dempsey and singer-pianist Dena DeRose.

Davis remembers Hollenbeck being quite the diligent student and versatile, even as a teenager. “John was always serious about music, perhaps as much about classical music as about being a pure jazz player,” Davis recalls. “I think we both had our first gig in my parents’ backyard, for my grandparents’ 40th anniversary party. We were very fortunate to have great teachers, supportive parents and to come up with a special group of young, talented musicians. Growing up, we all had a great deal of respect for John as a musician.”

DeRose, who first met Hollenbeck when they auditioned for the percussion section in their junior-high orchestra, agrees. She remembers him being a small, quiet and shy kid. “He almost looked like Harry Potter,” DeRose says. “I remember going into the audition and saying, ‘Who is this kid?,’ because he looked like a second grader.” But Hollenbeck’s audition was so strong that DeRose thought she had lost her chance to join the ensemble. Luckily they both got in, and they continued to play together throughout high school in numerous bands. “Already at that age John was inspiring and encouraging,” DeRose says.

While attending one of Hamme’s workshops, Hollenbeck first met legendary trombonist and composer Bob Brookmeyer, who brought his sextet. The meeting would be prophetic. Brookmeyer was a guest artist at Eastman during Hollenbeck’s studies there, and when the trombonist decided to start a music school in Rotterdam, Hollenbeck auditioned. But Hollenbeck didn’t land his big break with Brookmeyer until after he graduated from Eastman and spent some time in Europe and São Paulo. In 1994, Hollenbeck received an NEA grant to study composition with him. “That’s when he asked me to join his new band, from hearing my tapes,” Hollenbeck remembers.

“John’s composer side translated really well with his drummer’s side,” Brookmeyer recalls when asked what made Hollenbeck an ideal drummer for his New Art Orchestra. “When I started the band, he was musical and polite and it just kept saying, ‘More, more!’ He started giving more and became less afraid of hurting things and more concerned with creating things.” Brookmeyer also insists that Hollenbeck is an extension of Elvin Jones and Mel Lewis in being able to steer both large and small ensembles. “Mel was one of the greatest drummers in jazz history, but not regarded as so when he lived; Elvin was in more groups where he could show what he could do. Mel was more settled and had more responsibilities; I think John may have a place like that. I don’t know anyone in this era who can do what he does.”

Brookmeyer continues to be one of Hollenbeck’s primary lodestars in composition. “He’s a very important person in my life,” Hollenbeck says. “He’s always experimenting, sometimes in very subtle ways, but he’s always trying to do new things. He was always thinking about bringing the idea of composition into jazz.” Another continuing guiding light for Hollenbeck is pianist and composer Muhal Richard Abrams. The two have yet to work together, but Hollenbeck did meet Abrams in 1989 at a summer jazz course at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Hollenbeck later dedicated “RAM,” from his Large Ensemble’s 2005 disc, A Blessing, to Abrams. Hollenbeck says that Abrams and Brookmeyer share similar philosophies when it comes to composing: “The idea that you only need one cell, one little idea to write a whole piece. And that it is OK to create ‘theater’ in your music.”

The same year Hollenbeck received the NEA grant also marked the start of his New York history. Without hardly knowing anyone, he landed his first gigs with drummer Satoshi Takeishi and saxophonists Adam Kolker and Pat Zimmerli, playing at various dance classes and small clubs on the mid-’90s Downtown scene. As his circle of musical friends grew, Hollenbeck played with the Village Vanguard Orchestra; with personal heroes like trumpeter Frank London, pianist Anthony Coleman and clarinetist David Krakauer; and eventually formed enduring relationships with contemporaries such as guitarist Ben Monder and many of the musicians who work in his current groups.

Hollenbeck remembers his first years in New York being difficult because of the fierce competition among musicians and the city’s high cost of living. “At the same time, I was semi-consciously just looking for my musical identity and a place that felt organic and natural,” he says. “That didn’t happen until the Refuseniks gig at Alt Coffee around 1996.” (It was through that trio, with Reichman and bassist Reuben Radding, that the Claudia Quintet got its name. One night, an overzealous female concert-goer named Claudia vowed to start following the band yet never returned to a performance, subsequently becoming an in-joke.)

Now 17 years later, after high-profile commissions from the likes of Guggenheim, Meet the Composer and Chamber Music America and recording 13 sterling albums with various ensembles, Hollenbeck adds even more hustle to his game by dividing his time between New Paltz, N.Y., and Germany, where he teaches drumset and improvisation at Jazz Institute Berlin.

But with the current global economy in ruins, Hollenbeck rests on no laurels and acknowledges that every “yes” he receives in terms of bookings usually arrives after nine “no’s.” As for the evolution of his compositional voice, he says that not much has really changed since he first played the drums as a kid. Although he admits his music has gotten richer and deeper with life experience, he holds on to the natural impulses that were there when he was 8. “I think it’s easy to get knocked off of [those natural impulses] and go into some directions that are not right for me,” he says. “For instance, some people just get sick of the whole thing and decide to make a really commercial record. It’s easy for stuff like that to happen. I’m trying to stay myself.”

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