There's something about trains, the metronomic, ringing clink-clack of metal wheels on metal track, the fanfare of the whistle, the rhythm and rumble of the coaches being propelled across a countryside. Duke Ellington loved trains, in a day when he and the band used the form of transportion to get from gig to gig. Think of "Take the A Train" and "Track 360." Pianist/arranger/composer Mike Holober loves trains, too, as his second outing as leader atteststhe big band set Thought Trains.
Holober put together a group of first call players, including Ron Carter on bass; Tim Riesrecently of Maria Schneider Orchestra fameon saxophones and clarinet; Charles Pillow (Maria Schneider Orchestra also) on soprano and tenor saxophones and flute and clarinet; and John Riley on drums.
The bandworking off of Holober's tunes and arrangementshas a bold, upbeat, almost brash feel to it, right out of the station on the eleven and a half minute "Jump Down, Spin Around," that features no less than four inpired solosPat Halloran on trombone; Joe Gordon on alto sax; Scott Wendholt, trumpet; and Tim Ries on soprano saxin front of the unwaveringly concise rhythm laid down by Carter, Riley and Holober. Brilliantly arrangedI love the way Holober pulls the band back for Tim Ries' soprano solo and rolls on for an interlude with a piano/reed duet.
The title tune murmurs in on a finesse mode, John Riley's shuffling drums leading into a swirling ensemble section followed by Tim Ries cooking tenor sax, with Holober sounding very crisp and succinct behind him.
And so goes the entire set. It's hard to figure why it took so long to come out; Thought Trains was recorded in '96. Probably Holober's fine small ensemble outing, Canyon (Sons of Sound, '03), gave him the pull to get this one out into the light of day. One door opens, another one opens...
Track Listing: Jump Down Spin Around, Big Sky, Waltz Medium, Thought Trains, Form x Mood, Let's Get Nice, Heart of the Matter, I Can See My Desk From Here
Personnel: Mike Holober--piano/composer/arranger; Dave Pietro, Jon Gordon, Tim Ries, Charles Pillow, Steve Kenyon--reeds; Tony Kadleck, Scott Wendholt, Craig Johnson, Joe Magnarelli--trumpet/flugelhorn; Bruce Eidem, Pat Hallaran, Pete McGuinness--trombone; Nathan Durham--bass trombone; Eise Anshuetz--French horn; Dave Gilmore--guitar; Ron Carter--bass; John Rilly--drums
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.