Mike Holober: Canyon (2003)
Guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel comes from an early-'90s fusion background and most clearly resembles Kurt Rosenwinkel or a younger John Scofield in style. He articulates cleanly and produces some lengthy solos notably on "Same Time, Same Place." Holober plays well enough and acquits himself nicely on solos. Bassist Scott Colley and especially drummer Brian Blade are a pleasure to listen to. The album closes with two standards. "You and the Night and the Music" is taken up-tempo and does not convey much of the standard's melody line. By contrast, "Stardust," taken as a ballad, is given a tasteful reading.
Mike Holober is a New York pianist-composer who spent some time with Nick Brignola's group in that capacity. He is clearly influenced by modal pianists like Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock. This album was produced by Fred Hersch, one of today's most noted interpreters of Evans, and the liner notes penned by Jim McNeeley, another not-too-shabby pianist.
Track Listing: Canyon, Ansel's Easel, Heart of the Matter, Same Time,Same Place, Roc and a Soft Place, Spin, In So Many Words, You and the Night and the Music, Stardust
Personnel: Mike Holober, piano; Tim Ries,tenor and soprano sax; Wolfgang Muthspiel, guitar; Scott Colley,bass; Brian Blade, drums
Record Label: Sons of Sound