More West Coast Big Band by the Dean
William Faust | Columbus, Ohio | 09/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though my preference when it comes to west coast jazz is for smaller formats - quintet, septet, octet etc. - this is a fine big band performance featuring all the usual suspects (Holman, Sheldon, Kamuca, Rosolino, Candoli, Porcino etc.) giving their all to some excellent arrangements by Holman. Nine charts, all nicely done up by Holman, showcasing the best of the west when it comes to solos, lead playing and tight section work. Recorded in 1958 this is another great recording to add to your collection. Recommended, especially if you like the work of contemporaries like Kenton, Shorty Rogers and other west coast experimental big bands. I only deducted a star because these charts just don't swing as hard as some other Holman offerings."
Jazz Orbit -- Bill Holman Orchestra
John Herrmann | Montana USA | 02/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brilliant compositions and arrangements by the best big band jazz composer/arranger in the history of the art form. And the band is made up of the finest L.A. studio musicians."
I Love these Charts. . .so I'm Recommending. . .
Christopher Tune | No. Hollywood, CA USA | 10/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've played many of these arrangements for many years, and I've grown to truly love this music. I have never met Bill Holman, but I can tell you he is truly a jazz great, particularly in the area of "arranged" jazz. Bill uses an often, "contrapuntal" approach to arranging. Don't think that this means that he is writing strictly linear material. NO. Instead Bill weaves counterpoint and harmony together seamlessly, and with imagination.
Often Bill's statement of the melody is only done for perhaps one iteration (chorus, say. . ) and then the rest is "variations" on the primary material.
Much of this material sounds so natural that it simply feels as though it is a part of the original song.
The players are the cream of jazz in the late 1950's in Los Angeles (Kamuca, Candoli, Rosolino, Fontana, Sheldon). As such, I'm very interested in getting everything I can by these people.
Another observation: The sound could be described as "chamber music style jazz". I say this in the sense that even louds are not "shouts" like with the great Basie sound. Instead the contrasts are more measured. Soloists are never obscured for any instant as they solo.
Also I'd point out that Mel Lewis is great on drums here. The album is almost worth it just for Mel's great feel as he accompanies the group.