Bill Holman

Bill Holman

born on 21/5/1927 in Olive, CA, United States

Bill Holman (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Willis Leonard Holman (born May 21, 1927), known also as Bill Holman, is an American composer/arranger, conductor, saxophonist, and songwriter working primarily in the jazz idiom.

Although he has performed and recorded as a tenor saxophonist, Holman is best known as an arranger.[1][2] Through his acquaintance with Gene Roland, Holman was auditioned by Stan Kenton and hired as a tenor sax player around 1951.[1]

Kenton was apparently attracted to Holman's ability to integrate counterpoint and dissonance in subtle yet distinctive ways, and for his knack for making the usually unswinging Kenton band "swing" in its own particular fashion. Holman became Kenton's chief arranger, and wrote much of Kenton's 1950s repertoire; including one of Kenton's finest albums, Contemporary Concepts. He continued to write for Kenton, on and off, throughout the 1960s and 70s.

In addition to his work for Kenton, Holman has provided charts for Woody Herman, Doc Severinsen, Buddy Rich, Terry Gibbs, Count Basie, Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band and others. He formed his own California-based band in 1975 and continues to perform with it in the U.S. and worldwide. His 1997 recording Brilliant Corners/The Music of Thelonious Monk won a Grammy award.[3]

in 1969, Ella Fitzgerald recorded "Give Me the Simple Life" with Holman's arrangement on her live album Sunshine of Your Love.

Bill Holman is also credited with brass arrangements on The Fifth Dimension's 1969 album, The Age of Aquarius.

He received his honorary doctorate through Elmhurst College of Illinois.


As leader

  • The Fabulous Bill Holman, Jasmin, 1958.
  • In a Jazz Orbit
  • Bill Holman's Great Big Band, Creative World Records.
  • The Norwegian Radio Band Meets Bill Holman" Taurus Records, 1987
  • Bill Holman Band - JVC, 1988
  • A View from the Side - JVC, 1995
  • Bill Holman with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra. "Further Adventures" 1997
  • Big Band Live - Jazzed Media, 2005 (Grammy Nominee- 2006)
  • Bill Holman with SWR Band. Hammsler, 2005
  • Hommage - Jazzed Media, 2007 (Grammy Nominee- 2008)
  • Brilliant Corners, the Music of Thelonious Monk. 2008

As composer

  • Kenton Showcase: The Music of Bill Holman, Capitol, 1954. CD, 2000.

As arranger

  • Contemporary Concepts (Stan Kenton Orchestra), Capitol, 1955, (selections 1-6). CD, 2002.
  • Adventures In Jazz (Stan Kenton Orchestra), Capitol, 1962. CD, 1999.

With Maynard Ferguson

  • Dimensions (EmArcy, 1955)
  • Maynard Ferguson Octet (EmArcy, 1955)

As sideman

With Chet Baker and Bud Shank

  • Theme Music from "The James Dean Story" (World Pacific, 1956)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • The Cincinnati Kid (soundtrack) (MGM, 1965)

See also

  • List of jazz arrangers


  1. 1.0 1.1 Yanow, Scott. [Bill Holman (musician) at All Music Guide Bill Holman]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 19 May 2010.
  2. Franklin, David. Bill Holman: Donna Lee. Retrieved on 19 May 2010.
  3. Bill Holman at All About Jazz. Retrieved on 19 May 2010.
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