Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
One of the great arrangers, Bill Holman's dense but hard-swinging charts often have so much of value going on that they reward repeated listenings. After a stint with Charlie Barnet (1950-1951), Holman became well-known for his arrangements for Stan Kenton (1952-1956), which helped advance the Kenton sound. Although a fine tenor saxophonist, Holman's writing has always overshadowed his playing. He concentrated on studio work by the 1960s, but also wrote through the years for Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and Buddy Rich, among others. Holman wrote the charts for Natalie Cole's best-selling Unforgettable album (1991), and has led his own part-time big band in the Los Angeles area since 1975. Bill Holman recorded as a leader for Capitol, Coral (reissued on Sackville), Andex, and Hi Fi during 1954-1960, and in the late '80s and early '90s his Los Angeles band was documented by JVC.