376

Mike Holober: Canyon

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Holober: Canyon Pianist/composer Mike Holober's songs brim with shifting textures and moods, like the color changes wrought by the inexorbably-shifting angles of sunlight playing upon the striations of a canyon wall. Holober spends free time hiking and climbing, and he wrote the title tune for Canyon after a trip to Utah's Paria Canyon, an experience that inspired a song full of seamlessly shifting grooves.

Those shifts and changes within a composition – done while maintaining an entrancing accessibility – are Holober's stock in trade.

On board for this debut effort are Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade, drums – two guys giving creedence to those Downbeat Critics Polls they've won – and soprano and tenor saxophonist Mike Ries (who has toured with the Rolling Stones, and let's hope that doesn't get in the way of his jazz efforts), plus guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel. The band's sound is sharp and clean, intricately arranged, mostly bright and optimistic – excepting "Roc and a Soft Place," a wonderfully dark tribute to the late saxophonist Joe Roccisano.

Holober's piano style can be compared to a handful of Miles Davis alumni, perhaps: Bill Evans or Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock; but it's his tunes and the ensemble interplay rather than his instrumental prowess that hold sway on Canyon ; and after seven fine Holober compositions, the disc closes out with two standards, "You and the Night and the Music" and "Stardust," the former getting a piquant and upbeat treatment that starts out with Holober accompanying guitarist Muthspiel for an interlude of flowing low-key sting.

The arrangements here don't call attention to themselves but are absolutely first-rate, begging for repeated listens – and listen to Ries' Stan Getz-esque sax solo on the closer in front of the band's cool simmer. Marvelous!

Vist Sons of Sound Records at www.sonsofsound.com

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; Time Ries--tenor and sprano saxes; Wolfgang Muthspiel--guitar; Scott Colley-- bass; Brian Blade--drums

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Sons of Sound | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Joyride" CD/LP/Track Review Joyride
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.