Album Remarks & Appraisals:
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.
Songs I Like a Lot contains seven rearrangements of favorite music of composer/percussionist John Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck is known for his combination of contemporary charts with a refreshing playfulness for large ensembles. The seven tunes run the gamut from two Jimmy Webb classics, "Wichita Lineman" and "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress," Ornette Coleman's "All My Life," Queen's "Bicycle Race," Imogen Heap's "Canvas," Japanese composer Nobukazu Takemura's "Fallslake," and the traditional ballad "Man of Constant Sorrow." The album features vocalists Theo Bleckmann, who has recorded three albums with Hollenbeck, Kate McGarry, pianist Gary Versace, and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. Songs I Like a Lot is definitely unique but oddly accessible. ~ Al Campbell
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- Refuge Trio (Versace, Gary)