Bill Holman

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Bill Holman

Willis Leonard "Bill" Holman (born May 21, 1927 in Olive , California ) is an American jazz musician ( arranger , composer , saxophonist ).


Holman learned the tenor saxophone in high school. After military service and training as an engineer at the University of California, Los Angeles , he decided to write music for big bands and studied at Westlake College in Los Angeles . He wrote for Charlie Barnet in 1951 . Since 1952 he was employed as arranger and instrumentalist in the orchestra of Stan Kenton ( New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm ). As an instrumentalist as well as composer and arranger, he was a defining part of West Coast Jazz of the 1950s, where he played in combos with Shorty Rogers and Shelly Manne and later led his own group with Mel Lewis . He then led his own big band , which is called together again and again for record productions. He has also worked with most of the important stars and ensembles of modern jazz, such as Louie Bellson , Count Basie , Terry Gibbs , Woody Herman , Bob Brookmeyer , Buddy Rich , Gerry Mulligan , Doc Severinsen , the WDR - or the hr big band . He has written for vocalists such as Anita O'Day , Sarah Vaughan , Tony Bennett , Carmen McRae , Judy Garland , Ella Fitzgerald , Mel Tormé , Michael Bublé , June Christy , Natalie Cole and The Fifth Dimension .

Of his, often polyphonic compositions, the following are particularly well-known: Bright Eyes , Evil Eyes , Trilogy , but also film scores such as Swamp Woman (1956), Get Out of Town (1959) or Three on a Coach (1966). In 1996 he received a Grammy for his composition A View From the Side , recorded with the Bill Holman Band , and in 1998 for arrangements on his CD Brilliant Corners - The Music of Thelonious Monk . He has been repeatedly voted into one of the leading ranks of the down-beat poll for "arrangement".

In 2010 he received the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship .

Discographic notes