|Tags:||jazz big band west coast jazz cool jazz|
Willis Leonard Holman, 21 May 1927, Olive, California, USA. After studying at Westlake College, California, in the late 40s, tenor saxophonist Holman played in Charlie Barnets big band for three years, and then for four years with Stan Kenton. During this period Holman was not only playing but also contributing extensively to the Kenton bands book, his charts being among the most swinging Kenton ever played. In common with many other Kentonians of the time, Holman was also active in the various small groups experimenting on the west coast. Among the musicians with whom he worked, and sometimes recorded, were Shorty Rogers, Conte Candoli, Art Pepper and Shelly Manne (whose Blackhawk band used a Holman tune, A Gem From Tiffany, as their theme). He subsequently wrote for Count Basie, Louie Bellson, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman and Gerry Mulligan. His arrangements were also popular with the Boston-based band of Herb Pomeroy. During the late...