Thursday, December 17, 2009

John Hollenbeck - Eternal Interlude

Twitter and Facebook don't give me enough space to write about this piece of music. Last spring, prior to the release of this album, I met John Hollenbeck. He came to workshop some of the music that Johnson County Landmark (one of the big bands at the University of Iowa) had played the previous semester. I'm not normally interested in big band music, but Johnson County Landmark has played some of the most interesting big band music that I've ever heard and I was always glad to be a part of it. Anywho, John Hollenbeck is one of my favorite musicians, or composers, or musician-composers...whatever you want to call it. All the Claudia Quintet music is awesome and it has had a huge impact on me, so when Johnson County Landmark had the opportunity to play some of John Hollenbeck's music, I was very excited. I think some of the musicians in the band weren't exactly into it at the time but I loved it. Then again, I'm a huuuge nerd.

I met Hollenbeck the day that he came to do the workshop. He was traveling with Theo Bleckmann at the time. That night, they performed as a duo at the Sanctuary Pub in Iowa City. It was a great show. Theo Bleckmann was fantastic. After the performance, I approached Hollenbeck and sort of tried to explain to him what his music has meant to me. This is something I almost never do. Listening to certain music is a deeply emotional thing for me, so speaking with the musicians who make that music is just...weird. But he was floored that anyone outside of NYC could be that much of a fan. I responded simply by encouraging him to put out more albums, specifically albums with the Claudia Quintet.

I just listened to this album today for the first time. The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble. The album is called The Eternal Interlude. The title track is definitely one of the more beautiful pieces of music I've heard in a long time. This track comes just shy of 20 minutes, so if you're gonna listen, relax, maybe get some coffee, take it all in. But do it, you won't be disappointed.

Btw...Real Records has plenty of copies of Complete Life by Joel Vanderheyden. :)