Desert Island Jazz
Bill Holman (2014)

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(Photo by Lesley Bohm)

Bill Holman is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader. He's also a living legend.

Born in Southern California, Bill's first big-name gig was with Charlie Barnet in 1950. From there, he moved to Stan Kenton in 1952. Hired as a saxophonist, he had a knack for arranging, and it has been said that he was one of the first arrangers to set that band swinging.

During the 1960s, Bill concentrated on studio work, but kept busy writing charts for the likes of Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and Buddy Rich. He wrote the charts for Natalie Cole's best-selling "Unforgettable" album.

He's played with almost everybody—Jimmy Rowles, Zoot Sims and Bob Brookmeyer were among his friends—and knows everybody else. And he's led his own bands in the Los Angeles area since 1975.

Bill has been nominated for over a dozen Grammys, and has won three—not a bad batting average. And to cap it off, in 2010 he became an NEA Jazz Master. He's truly a living legend.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Woody Herman Blues on Parade Blues on Parade GRP
# 2 Artie Shaw The Essential Artie Shaw St James Infirmary Bluebird
# 3 Lester Young Ken Burns Jazz Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie Verve
# 4 Coleman Hawkins Ken Burns Jazz Body and Soul Verve
# 5 Dexter Gordon Settin' the Pace Long Tall Dexter Savoy
# 6 Charlie Parker Yardbird Suite Hot House Rhino
# 7 Stan Kenton Retrospective: The Capitol Years Jolly Rogers Capitol
# 8 Miles Davis The Complete Birth of the Cool Jeru Capitol
# 9 Sonny Rollins The Definitive Sonny Rollins Doxy Prestige/Riverside/Contemporary
# 10 Zoot Sims and Jimmy Rowles If I'm Lucky Legs OJC
         
Book Ludmila Ulehla, "Contemporary Harmony: Romanticism Through the Twelve-Tone Row"
         
Luxury Item The picture of Lester Young that hangs on his wall
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