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The Carl Saunders Exploration: The Lost Bill Holman Charts

The origin of this labor of love derives from long dormant charts that Bill Holman wrote for an aborted project in the 1980s. Resurfacing here, these never-before-heard scores display an overlooked aspect of Holman’s art, that of the small-group arranger. Long celebrated for his associations with the big bands of Stan Kenton and others, Holman is also a master of deriving orchestral heft from more compact ensembles. Led by its trumpeter, the Carl Saunders Exploration-on this a septet occasionally augmented by guest soloist Sam Most on baritone saxophone and flute-works overtime to accommodate Holman’s stuffed-to-the gills arrangements. The result is a polished performance that necessarily pulls attention away from the sturdy soloists and back to the man behind the scenes.

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