“Jump Down, Spin Around" (the only non-Holober tune among the eight tracks) presents the kind of challenge that an imaginative arranger uses to display his chops — and does he ever . . . . The combination of Carter and Holober, sharing solo honors, provides one of the album's highlights . . . . It's all part of the Holober concept of intelligent swing that can be found on all tracks."
Harvey Siders, “Reviews Big Bands,” Jazz Times, December 2004, p. 112
“Holober has merely found a way of expressing another creative sound world. He has done a grand job of blending his writing with the timbres of the individual players, taking pages along the way from the books of both Duke Ellington and George Russell."
Will Smith, “Mike Holober And The Gotham Jazz Orchestra – Thought Trains,” Downbeat, February 2005, p. 78
“Holober put together a group of first call players . . . . The band—working off of Holober's tunes and arrangements—has a bold, upbeat, almost brash feel to it . . . . 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.”
Dan McClenaghan, “Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Thought Trains (2004), All About Jazz, October 16, 2004
“There’s no question that Holober's lively charts, which manage to incorporate unique twists and turns without losing their innate sense of swing, are demanding of the players while remaining completely approachable by listeners . . . . And as a companion piece to Canyon, it demonstrates just how broad Holober's musical reach truly is."
John Kelman, “Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Thought Trains (2004),” All About Jazz, October 23, 2004
"Mike Holober's not just another pianist working within long-established post-Bill Evans methods, he's one of the rare very individually creative ones. Given his more monumental approach, his Gotham Jazz Orchestra can seem something of an extension of his piano work . . . . Planned and grand."
Robert R Calder, “Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Thought Trains (2004), All About Jazz, March 23, 2005
“Mike Holober is a versatile composer and THOUGHT TRAINS showcases his remarkable talents in many different ways. This collection of original work will stimulate the jazz audience with its innovative stylings. The music is crisp, enjoyable, and understandable.”
Lee Prosser, “Thought Trains: Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra,” JazzReview, April 2004
"Including some of the finest session musicians available in New York City (who make up the Gotham Jazz Orchestra), the big band devours his enticing charts whole . . . . Although it took nearly eight years for this to be released, it was well worth the wait."
Ken Dryden, “Mike Holober: Thought Trains,” All Music Guide, n.d.
"Recorded in 1996 but only just issued, this documents a powerhouse big band with stellar soloists . . . . Holober's charts are packed with incident, their contrapuntal ways reminiscent of Bill Holman . . . . They’re also beautifully executed by a band molded into a precise swinging unit by Holober."
Roy Comiskey, “Mike Holober: Thought Trains,” The Irish Times, November 26, 2004