Bill Holman: I Told You So - JazzWax

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May 11, 2010


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It is indeed a hellovah swinging album. My young ears were shaped by those Basie sides on Pablo. They have such a specific sound...

Gerardo Alejos

What an amazing album. I just downloaded it and the opener, "Tree Frog", is blowing my mind. Thanks for blogging about it and for the interview with Bill Holman! Greetings from Mexico.


I have met Bill Holman at a big band workshop in Tübingen ... 1987. He was very patient, and he tried to show me the notes above the stuff, above the concert F I mean. Alas, I wasn't ready yet then, and mostly missed them.

And so, it's quite relieving that even pros like the Count's men had some problems with Bill's charts too, some 10 years earlier.

I found the LP, and will order it soon. Swinging regards from Germany to Bill Holman, from the trumpeter who couldn't hear them higher ones ... I got some of them available now ;)



John Salmon

Great to see this wonderful album praised. ITYS, and a 50's Roulette Basie 2 album set, were a a big part of getting me into jazz as a teenager in the 70's, a habit I've happily kept.

Bill Holman's always been a great writer. I love the stuff he wrote for Maynard as well.


Got it!

Beautiful album, swingin' joyfully, and it's not so out of tune at all. Okay, some sax passages ... Well, you gotta live with that.

The band loved to play those charts. I can't hear any clinkers, or any hesitation to make Bill's arrangements swing; which they did by themselves anyway.

I love that album.

"Something to live for" indeed.

Thanks for the recommedantion, Marc.


In his memoir, "Those Swinging Years," Charlie Barnett states that the only time Kenton's band swung was when they were playing Holman charts. To be fair, a lot of Kenton's music wasn't really meant to swing, but was based on more of a 'classical music' concept. There's a Holman album called "Further Adventures" that's almost as far out as any of Kenton's most experimental stuff, but anything that Bill does is fantastic.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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