John Hollenbeck's September Songs
JH: Besides my brothers and my father, he's the most important man in my life. This is not an answer to your question, but I'm going to say it anyway. He's the only man, outside my family, who told me he loved me. That meant a lot. You know, he was a great friend. As a musician, I don't even know where to start. He's like the history of jazz. He was around and playing with everybody. He had an incredible, incredible sound. That's the first thing. He was also a great pianist, he has a couple of piano records, I absolutely love his piano playing...
AAJ: ...with Bill Evans [The Ivory Hunters, United Artists, 1959], that's a great record!
JH: ...yeah, but he also made a piano trio record, maybe ten years ago or so, it's really great, I love that record [(Holiday, Challenge, 2001), with bassist Mads Vinding and Alex Riel]. As a composer, he's extremely influential for a lot of people. Almost everybody who's writing successful big-band music at this moment studied with him. I can't think of anybody who didn't study with him. He was huge. I think I appreciated him when he was alive, but then once he died, I realized even more how great he was.
Claudia Quintet, September (Cuneiform, 2013)
Claudia Quintet (featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann), What Is The Beautiful? (Cuneiform, 2011)
Claudia Quintet (featuring Gary Versace), Royal Toast (Cuneiform, 2010)
John Hollenbeck, Rainbow Jimmies (GPE, 2009)
Claudia Quintet, For (Cuneiform, 2007)
Claudia Quintet, Semi-Formal (Cuneiform, 2005)
Claudia Quintet, I, Claudia (Cuneiform, 2004)
Claudia Quintet, Claudia Quintet (Blueshift/CRI, 2002)
Photo credits: Tomas Ovalle, Theo Bleckmann.