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October 1997

Bill Holman Band
Brilliant Corners
JVC Disc America

For a number of reasons, including their rather intractable departures from conventional bebop or swing practices, most of the compositions of Thelonious Monk have rarely attracted the attention of mainstream modernists, particularly those of the big band persuasion. Falling between the cracks of universally accepted methodological approaches, Monk's tunes generally found sympathetic support only within a miniscule community of ardent devotees, hardly the sort usually associated with the Hollywood session scene. However, here we have Bill Holman, linchpin writer for the old Kenton band, who has just come out of the closet with ten brilliant, originally conceived charts on such Monk landmarks as "Straight, No Chaser," "Bemsha Swing," "Misterioso," "Friday The 13th," "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "Brilliant Corners," all of which display the writer's unique ability to put his personal stamp on whatever material he handles. In each piece, he takes the theme and, building on its harmonic and rhythmic implications, constructs an entirely different vision of what we have come to expect. Outstanding soloists include Pete Christlieb, Andy Martin, Ron Stout, Bill Perkins, Lanny Morgan and Bob Summers.

Originally published in October 1997
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