Mike Holober - 'Balancing Act': finds equilibrium between the written and the improvised

Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 18:00


Balancing Act

Mike Holober



Pianist and composer Mike Holober’s name may not be too well known beyond the big band circles he has moved in over the past 10 years, but he keeps some pretty starry company on this, his first solo recording in six years.

The 58-year-old New Yorker’s new octet includes vocalist Kate McGarry, saxophonists Jason Rigby and Dick Oatts, bassist John Hébert and drummer Brian Blade, and the charts he has put in front of this dream team certainly deliver on the promise of the album’s title, striking that fine equilibrium between the written and the improvised.

He coaxes gorgeous section work from his horns (with McGarry often functioning as another section voice) and then offers thoughtfully through-written sections which allow his starry companions to have their say.