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In a Jazz Orbit

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Album Review

Considering his talents, arranger Bill Holman has led relatively few recording sessions through the years. This formerly rare big-band set from 1958 (originally on the Andex label and reissued on CD by V.S.O.P.) features a 15-piece band filled with West Coast all-stars. Among the soloists on these five standards and four originals are trombonists Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, and Ray Sims; altoists Charles Mariano and Herb Geller; trumpeter Jack Sheldon; Richie Kamuca on tenor; pianist Victor Feldman; and Holman himself on tenor. The leader's arrangements were quite distinctive (although not as complex as they would become) at this fairly early stage, and the results are a big-band album that still sounds fresh nearly four decades later.


Born: 21 May 1927 in Olive, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the great arrangers, Bill Holman's dense but hard-swinging charts often have so much of value going on that they reward repeated listenings. After a stint with Charlie Barnet (1950-1951), Holman became well-known for his arrangements for Stan Kenton (1952-1956), which helped advance the Kenton sound. Although a fine tenor saxophonist, Holman's writing has always overshadowed his playing. He concentrated on studio work by the 1960s, but also wrote through the years for Woody Herman, Maynard...
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In a Jazz Orbit, Bill Holman
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