Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

186

John Hollenbeck Jazz Bigband Graz featuring Theo Bleckmann: Joys & Desires

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
This release would look like the dozens of big band recordings that surface every year, except for the small print mentioning Theo Bleckmann. Bleckmann, a fixture in New York City performance art circles, was a conspicuous presence on this year's Winter & Winter recording Las Vegas Rhapsody: The Night They Invented Champagne. Bleckmann isn't singing this time, but his mere presence means something unusual, and perhaps very significant, is up.

The first bit of subterfuge surrounding Joys & Desires is the Bigband Graz, directed by Heinrich von Kalnein and Horst-Michael Schaffer. The Bigband Graz is is centered in Graz, Austria, a band noted for its progressive orchestration, particularly on the recent Question and Answer, a recording made with Bob Brookmeyer of Brookmeyer's compositions and arrangements. The first bit of subterfuge is the presence of composer John Hollenbeck, a musican whose musical taste is both eclectic and omniverous.

Joys & Desires is anything but a big band recording. There is no "One O'clock Jump, no "Lester Leaps In, no "Take the A Train. Composer/percussionist Hollenbeck creates a jungle soundscape with his band, replete with bird calls, cat growls, and antelope hooves tramping in the dirt. Bleckmann is on hand as an androgynous narrator of a sensuous documentary. Bleckmann extends the same decadence he provided Las Vegas Rhapsody to Joys and Desires.

This disc is not for the faint of heart. It is very much a temporal soundtrack generated by a large jazz ensemble under the spell of the master composer Hollenbeck. Bleckmann's creamy, smooth delivery adds to the humidity of the pieces. Joys and Desires should be considered a step beyond mere sound recording into the realm of life soundtrack.

Visit John Hollenbeck on the web.


Track Listing: The Bird with Coppery Keen Claws; Just Like Him; Abstinence; Jazz Envy; After A Dance Or Two, We Sit Down For A Pint With Gil And Tim; Garden Of Love; Maxfield.

Personnel: Theo Bleckmann: vocals, electronic effects; Christian Bachner: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Robert Friedl: alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Klaus Gesing: tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet; Martin Harns: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Heinrich Von Kalnein: alto and soprano saxophones, flute; Jorg Engels, Axel Mayer, Karl Rossman, Horst-Michael Schaffer: trumpets, flugelhorns; Robert Bachner, Wolfgang Messner, Hans Radinger, Reinhard Summerer: trombones; Oliver Kent: piano; Uli Rennert: keyboards; Henning Sieverts: bass, cello; John Hollenbeck: drums, compositions.

Title: Joys & Desires | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Intuition

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981" CD/LP/Track Review Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Connect" CD/LP/Track Review Connect
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017