JOHN HOL­LEN­BECK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS - COR­MAC LARKIN

Songs I Like a Lot Sun­ny­side

Drum­mer John Hol­len­beck steps out from be­hind his kit and flexes his con­sid­er­able com­poser and ar­ranger mus­cles on this eclec­tic, very ap­proach­able mix­tape of Amer­i­cana, hard­core jazz and left-field bizarreness, com­mis­sioned by the well re­garded Frankfurt Ra­dio Big Band. Hol­len­beck is a thought­ful mu­si­cian who has devel­oped his dis­tinc­tive voice over a se­ries of such projects. There’s some­thing pre­cise, al­most aus­tere, about the way he mar­shals the en­sem­ble, cre­at­ing tightly wound ar­range­ments of songs such as Jimmy Webb’s Wi­chita Line­man, Or­nette Cole­man’s All My Life and even Queen’s Bi­cy­cle Race. But there’s play­ful­ness here as well, and fine play­ing from a group that in­cludes pi­anist Gary Ver­sace and sax­o­phon­ist Ju­lian Ar­guelles. Vo­cal­ists Theo Bleck­mann and Kate McGarry carry the tunes. john­hol­len­beck.com

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