Internationally renowned composer and bandleader Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra nominated for 2020 GRAMMY®Award in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble recording category”

Grammy Awards 2020 Nominees

HIDING OUT

Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra

Nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY Award® "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album"

For those in the know, jazz masters and aficionados, there isn’t any mystery about maestro Mike Holober who is one of the most acclaimed and distinguished composers, arrangers, and bandleaders of our era. He has enjoyed a long and successful career, in which he has served as the artistic director of the Gotham Jazz Orchestra and Westchester Jazz Orchestra; guest conductor of the HR Big Band and WDR Big Band in Germany; and Associate Director of the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop, where he taught with Director Jim McNeely from 2007-2015. The brainchild of founding directors Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Albam, The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop is widely considered the “finishing school” for jazz orchestra writers, and today’s jazz scene is heavily populated by composers who have honed their craft under Holober’s tutelage.

As arranger/conductor, Holober has written concert projects for a wide variety of artists ranging from Miguel Zenon, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Avishai Cohen, and Eli Degibri – representing the highest standard for a younger generation – to elder jazz masters such as Dr. Lonnie Smith and Al Foster. Over the course of his career he has written and conducted for a veritable Who’s Who of jazz all-stars, including John Patitucci, Paquito D'Rivera, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, and many others. In addition, he has been awarded the prestigious Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant and serves as a full professor at the City College of New York, where he was also named the inaugural Stewart Z. Katz Professor of Humanities and the Arts in 2018.

There is no doubt that Holober is one of the most recognized jazz masters of our time. But in another sense, he has made a career of collaborations, playing piano as a sideman on over seventy records, and composing features for other talented artists. Meanwhile, jazz fans have been yearning for him to create a new seminal opus, something that showcases maestro Holober on his terms, without compunction, and very much as the leader of his musical enterprise.

This double-disc album Hiding Out is an adventurous, risk-taking, thoroughly well-crafted production that showcases the obvious, comprehensive, and conspicuous virtuosity of Holober’s superlative skills as a composer and arranger. Joining him on his musical journey is the acclaimed, New York based Gotham Jazz Orchestra with star soloists Billy Drewes, Jon Gordon, Jason Rigby, and Adam Kolker (saxes), Marvin Stamm, Scott Wendholt (trumpets), Steve Cardenas and Jesse Lewis (guitar). Holober himself is featured on the piano and Fender Rhodes throughout this sonic adventure.
The album begins with Jumble, commissioned by the US Army Jazz Nights in 2008, and is named for an isolated lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the juxtaposition of which presents breathtaking scenery. The contrast between rock and water is evoked by the musical combination of 1970s fusion and Brazilian maracatu. This tantalizing opener is indicative of the sonic soundscape that will unfold, with two large scale and mesmerizing suites.

The suite Flow was commissioned by the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, which Holober led from 2007 to 2013. It was partly funded with a NYSCA (NY State Council of the Arts) grant, and Holober wrote it while in residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where he has been a guest five times. It’s the same setting in which the iconic American classical composer Aaron Copland wrote “Appalachian Spring.” The comparison is fitting, given that nature often serves as Holober’s muse, drawing inspiration from the world around him. In this case, it was the Hudson River that sparked Holober’s creative output.

Tear of the Clouds begins with the drip-drop of percussion, muted horns, and swirling reeds that creates an undulating effect, enveloping the listener in an eddy of polyrhythms and polytonalities. The constant evolution of sound throughout this movement and into the next, Opalescence, with its opening, triumphant trumpet makes sure that the listener never drifts away. The through-composed sections are rendered with deft touch and incandescent color. The constellations of sounds can be heard in full on Harlem, which is where the Hudson River terminates in Manhattan, before joining the saltier waters of the Atlantic. Holober wrote this suite so that each piece was similar to a tone poem, similar to Claude Debussy’s Jeux - Poème Dansé. Indeed, this movement fuses concert music with the improvisation and swing of jazz, hewing close to the blues tradition found in many traditional works. That Holober is able to conjure from such a vast array of musical and rhythmic devices is reason enough to celebrate him not just as a composer, but as a deeply conceptual thinker as well.
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Recorded: Dec 17 -20, 2017  at Oktaven Studios, Mt Vernon, NY.  
Produced by: Kabir Sehgal and Mike Holober.  
Recording engineer: James Farber.  
Assistant recording engineer: Ryan Streber.  
Mixed by: Brian Montgomery, Mike Holober, and Chris Zuar.  
Mastering by: Mark Wilder, Battery Studios, New York
Associate producer and assistant conductor: Chris Zuar.  
Assistant session producer: Migiwa Miyajima.  
Production assistant: Yuto Mitomi.

Special thanks from Mike Holober to the following commissioning organizations and sponsors: Philadelphia Museum of Art, funded by the Pew Foundation (Hiding Out); Westchester Jazz Orchestra, funded by New York State Council on the Arts - Individual Artist Grant (Flow); The U.S. Army Jazz Knights (Jumble); Westchester Jazz Orchestra (Caminhos Cruzados); MacDowell Colony and The Ucross Foundation.

Released August 9, 2019
ZOHO Music 

Mike Holober - all tracks, Conductor, Leader, Piano/Fender Rhodes 

Saxophone/Woodwinds
Billy Drewes - alto, soprano, flute on Flow 
Jon Gordon - alto, soprano on Hiding Out, Jumble 
Dave Pietro - alto, soprano, flute, piccolo on Hiding Out, Jumble, Caminhos Cruzados 
Ben Kono - alto, soprano, flute, clarinet, piccolo, penny whistle on Flow, Caminhos Cruzados 
Adam Kolker - tenor, flute, alto flute, clarinet – all tracks 
Jason Rigby - tenor, flute, clarinet on Flow 
Charles Pillow - tenor, flute, clarinet, alto flute on Hiding Out, Jumble 
Steve Kenyon - baritone, bass clarinet on Hiding Out, Jumble 
Carl Maraghi - baritone, bass clarinet on Flow, Caminhos Cruzados

Trumpet/Flugelhorn 
Tony Kadleck - all tracks 
Liesl Whitaker - all tracks 
Scott Wendholt - all tracks 
James de LaGarza - on Tear of the Clouds, Harlem, Jumble 
Marvin Stamm - on Hiding Out, Opalescence, Caminhos Cruzados 

Trombones 
Tim Albright - all tracks 
Mark Patterson - on Flow, Jumble, Caminhos Cruzados 
Alan Ferber - on Flow, Jumble, Caminhos Cruzados 
Bruce Eidem - on Hiding Out 
Pete McGuinness - on Flow 
Nathan Durham - bass trombone on all tracks 

Guitar 
Steve Cardenas - on Hiding Out 
Jesse Lewis - on Jumble, Caminhos Cruzados 
Jay Azzolina - on Flow 

Bass 
John Hebert - all tracks 

Drums/ Percussion 
Mark Ferber - on Hiding Out, Caminhos Cruzados 
Jared Schonig - on Flow, Jumble 
Rogerio Boccato - on Hiding Out, Jumble, Caminhos Cruzados

REVIEWS

"With the release of this long-anticipated, epic work, Holober has brought a profound artistic vision to bear on today’s jazz scene and confirmed his standing as one of the finest modern composer/arrangers of our time, in the tradition of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely." — Ed Enright, (Editor's Picks, November 2019) DownBeat Magazine

“With this 2-CD release Mike Holober leaps into the front rank of the most accomplished and inventive composers in jazz.” — Bob Bernotas, Just Jazz 

Gotham Jazz Orchestra’s fine new album…Mike Holober’s woven composition unfolds across various movements, kicking up dust as it goes along; toward the end, after a snaky, scorching guitar solo from Jesse Lewis, the whole band piles in together, and the rambunctious energy of a street parade — or just a lively city block, on any day of the year — spills forth.” – Giovanni Russonello, New York Times Playlist, August 12, 2019 writing about the composition “Jumble” 
  
A sure handed modern master…” — Chris Spector, Midwest Record 

“Mike Holober has a daring compositional voice which is on full display in this release.” — Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition 

“Presenting a series of commissioned works—two suites bookended by two stand-alone pieces—Holober is in his element. Channeling nature's bounty into varied dimensions and directions, he manages to meld two of his loves—the great outdoors and sound itself—into enthralling functions and forms…As with Holober's other albums and works for large ensembles, the material on Hiding Out is both serious and engrossing. Who says jazz can't fire the intellect and the imagination?” — Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz 

“Mike Holober's Gotham Jazz Orchestra's latest release Hiding Out is a two-disc set of awe-inspiring compositions… a full 93 minutes of powerful orchestral magic, full of emotion and splendor at every turn, with adventurous and complex arrangements, informed by classics of Gil Evans, Duke Ellington and many others. Perhaps as a listener the only thing better than absorbing this music off of the discs at hand would be experiencing it performed live.” — Peter Thelen, Expose 

"Articulate composer and astute arranger, the rhythmically adroit Holober must think in four dimensions to deliver the deeply satisfying development that is a hallmark of every track on the album…Holober’s development captures your attention from moment to moment and carries you to liberating resolutions. The finely tuned orchestra delivers on his every command, and the soloists shine again and again." — Mel Minter, Musically Speaking 

“Hiding Out is an adventurous, risk-taking, thoroughly well-crafted production that showcases the virtuosity of jazz composer, band leader and pianist Mike Holober. Joining him on this 2 CD-set is his New York based Gotham Jazz Orchestra, in three brilliant, large-scaled, and original big band compositions, and his arrangement of a classic A.C. Jobim tune” — Kabir Seghal, producer 

“The album ‘Hiding Out’ contains many moments of beauty, of melodies that sing and harmonies that ring, with solos that have power and grace. Give this music the time it deserves to enter your mind (and heart) – its rewards are plentiful. Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra have made one splendid musical adventure!” — Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest 

"Mike Holober's writing is in the expansive and ambitious lineage of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer and Maria Schneider: music of varying moods that merges the thrust of jazz with atmospheric colors closer to the classical world. It can teem with energy or settle into a state of quiet, contemplative beauty." — Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz 

“The stream of sounds that emerge from this taut machine pulse and probe like a unified aqueous body in motion. Holober guides his group with precision, but like an impressionistic painter, he allows for the band to have its own organic aspiration, its own distinct vitality.”  — Ralph A. Miriello, Notes on Jazz 

"A superlative big-band session that may have been ten years in the making but was easily worth the wait." — Jack Bowers, All About Jazz 

Progressive modern jazz, brilliant soloists and great charts...”   
— Christopher Burnett, JazzArtistryNow

Mike Holober has done the near impossible – assembled an A-list group (The Gotham City Orchestra) to perform 11 fresh, original, large ensemble jazz compositions in a way that displays each musician’s gifts within the framework of ego-less, challenging arrangements. Holober is at a point in his musical maturity and creativity that this contemporary take on the traditional big band jazz format is all about the music itself.”  -- Leslie Mitchell-Clarke, The Whole Note  

“Mike Holober is one of many leading the charge to shift what a big band can sound like. His arranging on 'Hiding Out' will leave you breathless.” – Michael Ambrosino, 33third.org Grace Notes