Home » Jazz Articles » Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out


Album Review

Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out


Sign in to view read count
Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out
Mike Holober's background as a classical pianist and conductor is just one thing that sets Hiding Out apart from the current crop of big band releases. Holober has worked in a variety of settings from solo, duo, and quintet to large ensembles. Two previous recordings with his Gotham Jazz Orchestra were the critically acclaimed Thought Trains (Sons of Sound Records, 2004) and Quake (Sunnyside Records, 2009), comprised of covers and original Holober compositions. On the ambitious double-disc Hiding Out, Holober has composed all the pieces with one exception, a two-version offering from Antonio Carlos Jobim.

The orchestras of Holober and Maria Schneider share several musicians and an overall sensibility about inventiveness without flamboyance. Trumpeter Tony Kadleck, and saxophonists Charles Pillow and Tim Ries, have credits with both ensembles. Another contingent of the Gotham group are members of trombonist Pete McGuinness' Jazz Orchestra; McGuinness appearing on the "Flow" suite here. Standout solos come from guitarist Steve Cardenas, trumpeters Marvin Stamm, sax players Jon Gordon and Jason Rigby, and Holober himself.

The thirteen-minute opener is the only piece not in the "Flow" suite. It is cinematic in its sweep, Holober adding a funky touch with the Fender Rhodes and alto saxophonist Jon Gordon, and guitarist Jesse Lewis taking solos. The "Flow" suite was commissioned by the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, the NYC suburb ensemble that Holober led for six years. As it unfolds its four movements, Holober guides the undulating sections through a musical travelogue inspired by the natural beauty of the lower Hudson River Valley. He combines the elements of the ebb and flow to "Harlem," where the river, and the suite, come to a conclusion.

The Disc 2 suite, "Hiding Out," commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, finds its stimulus two-thousand miles west, in the wilds of Wyoming. Ben Kono's pensive piccolo begins the "Prelude" joined later by Stamm. As the picture of isolation takes shape, the music, like its source, becomes more heavily textured, eventually taking on the flavor of the west. The underlying Americana motif builds as Cardenas and Holober—now on piano—usher in "Compelled," a movement that develops around gently driving arrangements. Two very brief movements lead to the suite's energetic closer, "It Was Just the Wind," with a brief nod to Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk." The eighteen-minute opus is a lively ride across the time and space of the entire suite. Jobim's "Caminhos Cruzados" is offered as a deferential mainstream cover with a second, shorter "radio" version.

Hiding Out is a tribute to nature and those who explore, preserve, and appreciate it. Holober paints a picture that doesn't require tsunamis or tornadic activity, relying on the natural flow of day-to-day events, with judicious and refined weightiness. As it should, the music has the organic feel that Hoboler successfully explored with his quintet on Canyon (Sons of Sound, 2003). His worldview is informed by rich experiences as an environmental activist, U. S. State Department jazz ambassador, and an ongoing role as a jazz professor at New York's City College. In Hiding Out, Holober composes with the influence of what he knows best—music and nature.

Track Listing

CD 1: Jumble; Flow: Movement 1: Tear of the Clouds; Movement 2: Opalescence; Movement 3: Interlude; Movement 4: Harlem. CD 2: Hiding Out: Movement 1: Prelude; Movement 2: Compelled; Movement 3: Four Haiku; Movement 4: Interlude; Movement 5: It Was Just the Wind; Caminhos Cruzados; Caminhos Cruzados (Radio Edit).


Mike Holober: piano; Billy Drewes: saxophone; Jon Gordon: saxophone, alto; Dave Pietro: saxophone, alto; Ben Kono: woodwinds; Adam Kolker: clarinet, bass; Jason Rigby: saxophone, tenor; Charles Pillow: saxophone; Alan Ferber: trombone; Carl Maraghi: saxophone, baritone; Tony Kadleck: trumpet; Pete McGuinness: arranger; Scott Wendholt: trumpet; Marvin Stamm: trumpet; Steve Cardenas: guitar; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Jay Azzolina: guitar; Mark Ferber: drums; Jared Schonig: drums; Rogerio Boccato: drums.

Album information

Title: Hiding Out | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Leon Foster Thomas
Playing With Standards
Seppe Gebruers
Heavy Hitters
The Heavy Hitters
Made in Miami
Camilo Valencia/Richard Bravo


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.