306

Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Thought Trains

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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 attests—the big band set Thought Trains.

Holober put together a group of first call players, including Ron Carter on bass; Tim Ries—recently of Maria Schneider Orchestra fame—on saxophones and clarinet; Charles Pillow (Maria Schneider Orchestra also) on soprano and tenor saxophones and flute and clarinet; and John Riley on drums.

The band—working off of Holober's tunes and arrangements—has 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 solos—Pat Halloran on trombone; Joe Gordon on alto sax; Scott Wendholt, trumpet; and Tim Ries on soprano sax—in front of the unwaveringly concise rhythm laid down by Carter, Riley and Holober. Brilliantly arranged—I 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

Title: Thought Trains | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sons of Sound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019
Read Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 Album Reviews
Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
By John Kelman
April 19, 2019
Read HUJE 2018 Album Reviews
HUJE 2018
By Jack Bowers
April 19, 2019
Read Farallon Album Reviews
Farallon
By Jerome Wilson
April 19, 2019
Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019