171

Mike Holober: Canyon

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Holober: Canyon With a strong supporting cast, New York pianist Mike Holober's Canyon delivers a fine first effort of modern post-bop material. Producer Fred Hersch takes Holober, a busy sideman on the New York scene, and places him in the spotlight, garnering the artist broader recognition.

Holober is a lyrical pianist coming from the Evans/Jarrett/Jamal tradition, but while his playing on Canyon is strong and confident, his compositions are the real highlight of the release. The seven originals run the gamut from the extroverted swing of “Same Time, Same Place” to the pensive, inward-looking “Roc and a Soft Place.” Holober writes memorably melodies that stay in the mind long after the disk is over.

Joining Holober on Canyon are the ubiquitous Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Choosing a rhythm section with proven efficiency was a wise choice; Colley and Blade play almost telepathically, providing empathic support for all soloists.

Guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel is a somewhat lesser-known contemporary of Kurt Rosenwinkel, and he shares an oblique, post-Metheny/Scofield/Abercrombie approach to the electric guitar. Recipient of the 2003 European Jazz Award, he is a remarkably consistent and inventive player who brings tunes like “Spin” to life with a warm, slightly-overdriven sound that is timeless, yet completely contemporary.

The label on the cover of the release touts saxophonist Tim Ries as playing with the Rolling Stones, but that is hardly an indication of what he proves himself capable of doing on this disk. There is a certain fragility to his sound in the upper register that brings to mind British reedman John Surman; but Ries’ roots are firmly planted in the American jazz tradition. He can play it tender, as on the poignant ballad “In So Many Words,” or fleet-of-finger, as in the re-worked standard “You and the Night and the Music.”

With a program that emphasizes strong compositional ability, tasteful playing and capable leadership skills, Canyon is an auspicious début from a pianist who will, no doubt, be heard from more in the future.

Visit Sons of Sound on the web at www.sonsofsound.com .


Track Listing: 1. Canyon; 2. Ansel's Ease; 3. Heart of the Matter; 4. Same Time, Same Place; 5. Roc and a Soft Place; 6. Spin; 7. In So Many Words; 8. You and the Night and the Music; 9. Stardust

Personnel: Mike Holober (piano), Tim Ries (tenor/soprano saxophones), 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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Refuge In Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Refuge In Sound
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "While We’re Still Young" CD/LP/Track Review While We’re Still Young
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 24, 2016
Read "Arctic" CD/LP/Track Review Arctic
by James Nadal
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!